June 05


Brenda, Nigel Lendon and Toni

The business is that of three artists who play an important role in the Canberra scene as practicing artists and educators. All three have or had significant roles in the ANU School of Art and Design (ANU SOA&D) and their influence goes way beyond what’s on the walls at CCAS, brilliant though it may be. None have ever shown at CCAS before and Unfinished Business is a show that suggests its about time they did. Without going down the path of what makes an artist successful, Nigel Lendon, Rebecca Mayo and Peter Alwast are practitioners that over long careers demand serious consideration …. they have been around for a while but this exhibition is a statement of continuing intent. As a photograph might capture a descive moment so does Unfinished Business which speaks to the past while laying foundations for the future. There is a kind of a time lapse thing happening here as curator Alexander Boynes puts it, they ” … share generational overlaps in their practices. These overlaps are not necessarily literal, but instead relate to their formal aesthetics, attitude and their mode of interpreting the world around them.” Nigel Lendon, artist, art historian and curator can be located within the fields of post minimalism and conceptual art making art for the 21st century that while minimal, dominates the space that audiences occupy. It is art that physically absorbs the audience merely by suggesting that is what it will do … and without question we position ourselves in relation to each piece an inextricable triumvirate of artist, art and audience. Nigel is also showing work done in collaboration with local legend Emma Beer. Rebecca Mayo’s earthy minimalism includes a pile of bricks made with shredded gorse … a noxious European weed with bright yellow flowers and nasty spikes that has invaded southern Australia, New Zealand and Chile.  Using repetitive and performative print and paper making processes she intimates the labour of gorse clearance while neutralising some, but not all, of its menacing presence. Mayo’s other delicate works  reflect the colours and fragility of nature, examining human interactions to urban sites of ecological significance that formally (gridwise) address Lendon’s pieces albeit with very different conceptual foundations. In some ways Peter Alwast ties it all together in collages that include painting and digital print media paired in elegantly controlled chaos. Underlying these seductive works there are some unexpected materials such as hessian and rabbit skin glue (rabbit collagen) that add elements of chance and serendipity to works that ostensibly provide a stark contrast from those of Lendon and Mayo. Unfinished Business with Nigel Lendon, Rebecca Mayo and Peter Alwast, featuring LENDON/BEER at CCAS Gorman Art Centre Galleries now. Tuesday – Saturday 11am-5pm.

Carmel and Rebecca Mayo

Peter Alwast and David Broker

Riley, Alexander Boynes and Joel in front of Untitled Wall Structure 2018:9 By Nigel Lendon

Alex, Katy, Clare and Robert

Alex and Megan

Alicia and Ana

Jane, Shags and Dan

Ira, Dioni and Joel

Megan and Brenda

Erin and Sally

Robert, Dave and Tony (selfie)

Dave and Riley in As Yet Untilled, 2018:15 LENDON/BEER

Alexander, Dave, Haley and Jo