Contemporary Landscapes

Curated by Linsey Gosper

Artists: Leigh Backhouse, Tim Handfield, David-Ashley Kerr, Rhiannon King, Christopher Köller, Lizzie Hollins, Rohan Hutchinson, Julia Norlander, Patrick Rodriguez, Stephen Wickham

Exhibition dates: June 3 – 25, 2011

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There has been a recent resurgence of landscape photography in Australia, redefining the tradition. This exhibition shows new and recent work of ten Melbourne based artists at varying stages of their career. The artists have approached the subject with a diversity of conceptual concerns, highlighting the multiplicity of depictions of contemporary landscape photography.

Which is Blackish by Reasons of Ice #3 Trash The Complex Steel Works #1 Site of execution Homage Langtan (longing)

There has been a recent resurgence of landscape photography in Australia, redefining the tradition. Formerly a tool to record our ever-changing natural and social topography, landscape photography has been embraced by the artists in this exhibition as a way to engage in a variety of conceptual concerns. As a body of work, what is revealed is not only their differences but also their similarities. From the surreal to social commentary, the success in these varied interpretations is, in part, being able to convey so many layers of simultaneous meaning. The playful narratives in images by Rhiannon King, Christopher Koller and Patrick Rodriguez, are fairytale like in their surreal, picturesque qualities. Similar notions of the atmospheric, abstract and unreality are conveyed in the work of Leigh Backhouse, Julia Norlander and Stephen Wickham. Like that of a fairytale, where the familiar meets the unknown, elements of lightness and darkness are in equal measure. This dreaminess, where the past co-exists with the present, represents a more intuitive, emotive response to the landscape, which links to our subconscious selves, collective memory and time. The notion of time can also been seen in the work of Tim Handfield, Lizzie Hollins and Rohan Hutchinson, as their work documents the temporary, transitory existence of a specific space. In three different countries;  Australia, France and Japan respectively, this documentation of the urban landscape acts as a geographical, economical and social survey of the surroundings. This provides a social commentary on human manipulation of the environment and our culture; as also seen in the work of David-Ashley Kerr. Role play and representation of the staged figure in the physical environment, by Kerr and King explore a way of redefining cultural identity through the landscape. This and so much more can be found in the images of these artists whose diverse approaches highlight the multiplicity of contemporary landscape depictions.  Linsey Gosper 2011