Friday, August 28, 2009

Craft Alchemy....

The Spring season is nearly upon us.... and the MCA is partially closed due to the installation of two new shows for the upcoming three months - Primavera and Making it new:focus on Contemporary Australian Art....
So I was relieved when I found the exhibition Louisa Bufardeci + Zon Ito still on... and I'm glad to say that it exceeded my expectations too! Yee haa....!

When I opened the glass front doors to the gallery I was ushered into the lift with most of the turisti traffic and up to the 4th floor where at one end you have Bufardeci+Ito and at the other New Acquisitions 2009... And let me tell you as the lift opened there was no contest as to which show was to take centre stage on the floor.....the technicolour installation or candyland of Louisa Bufardeci drew you in like a strobe light fixture!!

Bufardeci+Ito exhibition is the fourth in a series of 'international pairing' projects - that are to create a new dialogue with Australian and overseas artists. Bufardeci an Australian artist represented by Anna Schwartz gallery and Zon Ito from Kyoto Japan have never exhibited together and yet the parallels found in each of their artworks gave the curator the tantalising idea to try and attempt to place them side by side....

Senior curator Rachel Kent says:
their symbolic use of colour and ordered forms, along with their interpretation and unconventional use of space' (made it an interesting project).

The first work by Bufardeci Team Joy 2004 made a huge statement as the colour and lines drew you in like a complex puzzle - asking to be ordered like a adult size board game! Funnily enough this initial reaction of fun was not what Louisa had in mind when producing the work - as the endless text accompanying the work suggests.

The artwork of Louisa Bufardeci is about mapping, statistics, order/reorder... and yet somehow that was all lost on me as I wanted to experience the work on a purely aesthetic level... Each of Louisas' works challenged me as one the one hand she works with colour texture + a mix of playful materials - and yet on the other hand she tries to order them within tight structures and ideologies that seem to contradict the playful visuals...

Bufardeci: Recent Plans for the Equal Distribution of Equality (Internet) 2008 digital prints

Zon Ito embroidery
However if you wanted the complete package of playful + intuitive works that are enjoyable to explore... then Zon Ito from Kyoto is your man! I had never heard of his work before and so I went in with no expectations and smiled...

Walking through the doorway and into the main room with an open mind and eye... I was instantly impressed and excited to walk around this surreal little world full of colour, embroideries, sketches and animations... There was no wall text delineating each work, no one-way to walk around the space, no order, no explanations - it was just pure fun!

Ito: Travelling in the Shallows 2000 embroidery

Ito's world is quirky, abstract and yet thoughtful and considered - as each mark, dot , scribble and character has been placed while the artist was in a meditative flow.

And even in the hanging of the show each piece has been quietly considered... which reminded me of my mate Gino... who can be a joy to watch while calmly placing objects in an installation - coming up with new way of seeing something in a space...

It is a unique eye that can do this and see the world differently!

That is the quirky but calm world of Zon Ito.

The yang to Bufardeci's ying?!
The playful on one hand with the organised mapping on the other?
And maybe that is why this exhibition may or may not work for people... both artists connect with colour+ texture but disconnect with everything else....

Food for thought.

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