August 09


James Rowell

James Rowell is a mysterious and prolific artist who has been working around Canberra for some time now. He might pop up anywhere, at M16, at Belconnen Art Centre or at a local market. His current show at CCAS Manuka is undoubtedly one of the best yet as he brings together some strange takes on religion, sex, philosophy and nostalgia. For this exhibition James starts with objects or things that he thinks have no place in contemporary art, such as ears, real estate signs, chemistry beakers and Tudor Mansions. The latter was so irrelevant, it didn’t make it into the exhibition. And then the are works based on horrible ideas/things he has seen, such as Queen Victoria at the War Memorial. This inspired a work with the text “Queen Victoria disapproves of the multiplication of fishes because fishiness is an integral part of sex”. So if you are starting to get a picture its probably way off …. James redeems horrible ideas and things through painting them in his inimitable heavy, thick, pointillist style. He is also obsessed with colour. Colour is James’ weapon against the mundane, its the thing that holds the world together as tones merge and bend to become one beautiful object.  See it to believe it. Images that have been redeemed by painting is at CCAS Manuka until 13 August.