5 August -
3 September 2022
Gertrude Glasshouse44 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood
Opening Thursday 4 August, 5pm
Known for her meticulous consideration of image-based culture and its translation to a painterly context, this body of work both shifted Ann Debono's established methods of production and also resolved these as a series of foundational gestures that reflected the core principles of looking, parsing, reframing and depicting, which sit at the heart of her practice. Like Debono’s work to date, these paintings deepen her examination of the frictions between vision and contemporary experience. The works consider what it means to see the world and desire its reproduction – and what is displaced as well as gained in this process. Expanding on the show’s context, Debono describes:
A sieve captures and loses in the act of sifting. I think imaging, including painting and photography, has this paradoxical condition of both capturing and losing its depicted contents. For this body of work, I have been sifting back through my heaped collection of photographs taken on walks and journeys which feed my painting practice. Many photos have malingered in my studio filled with aesthetic promise but resistant to being configured into my typical collage-like compositions. In turning to these remainder photos, I either concluded that they were sufficient and complete already or that they were failures. In both cases, I have painted them for this body of work.
The paintings here are often a product of the most simple compositional gestures in my practice: cropping and rotating. The motifs that pattern this body of work are like an indelible signature impressing itself through the fabric of multiple mediations. Grids, grilles, apertures, detritus, reflections and shadows are transmuted from one work to another. Under a ceaseless deluge of images, world and image seem to merge into one another without distinction. I want my paintings to wedge open this gap between image and world, to show that images possess a durational, mediating activity rather than an automated, instant continuity with the world they depict. I experiment with composition in my paintings to try and deform the syntax of the image. These experiments attempt to arrest the paintings halfway between illegible and legible, tracing paths between visibility and representation.
Ann Debono is a painter living and working in Naarm Melbourne. She graduated from VCA Honours in Fine Art in 2015. Debono's paintings attempt to image imaging. She uses her own photographs and found images as sources for her collage-like paintings. Debono recently completed a residency at The British School at Rome as the inaugural recipient of the Cranbourne Fellowship. The artist's solo presentations include Diachronic, Sutton Gallery, 2020; Awled, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, 2017; Dehiscence, KINGS ARI, Melbourne, 2016; Upaithric, CAVES Gallery, Melbourne, 2015. Recent group exhibitions include Geelong Contemporary Art Prize, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong, 2022; XXX: Celebrating 30 years of Sutton Gallery, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2022; Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, Bayside Gallery, 2022; Gertrude Studios 2021: If Not At Arm’s Length, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2021; amongst others. Debono participated in the Gertrude Studio Program from 2019 - 2021. Debono is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.