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Francis Carmody
A Relic Remains

Installation view of Francis Carmody, A Relic Remains, presented at Gertrude Glasshouse, 2023. Photo: Christian Capurro.
Installation view of Francis Carmody, A Relic Remains, presented at Gertrude Glasshouse, 2023. Photo: Christian Capurro.

13 October -
11 November 2023

Gertrude Glasshouse

44 Glasshouse Road, Collingwood

Opening Event
Thursday 12 October, 6 – 8pm

Artist Talk
Saturday 11 November, 4pm

A Relic Remains draws from the remote past where societies connected the most mundane of happenings to the grandest of cosmic events. An uncommon seasonal shift attributed to celestial realignments, the formation of a mountain traced back to a family quarrel, and the abundance of a harvest perceived as a reward for a past deed. While much has changed within current world views and human understandings of its natural order, there are constants that even the greatest of societal developments are yet to erase. A Relic Remains considers and stages a new story around the simple but persistent toothache and the appetite that drives human progress.

Using the aperture of Gertrude Glasshouse’s gridded entrance and architecture as a starting point to tell a story, A Relic Remains is structured as a scene in action. The narrative extends the boundaries of everyday reality by connecting tooth decay with global-scale deterioration. Despite all that has happened the toothache remains.

Opening the space, a thin length of rope snakes through the room gradually thickening, connecting the trivial to the immense. A large sculpture of a rock is suspended off the floor by the thickened length of rope. The rope morphs in lengths and finds its anchorage through iron rings on opposing walls. Tethered by either end of the rope are a goat and a crab. Taken as a whole, this scene presents a modern-day narrative that borrows from mythmaking of the distant past. Here, the earth and the toothache (or the feeling of the toothache) are presented as one—universal and unavoidable as it is despite centuries of human ‘progress.’ Meanwhile, the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer—geographical meridians, points of solar articulation and now guardians—have been tasked with extracting the earth’s toothache, their vast geographical lines connecting land and sea. 

The scene occurs between states. The rock (in your mouth) indicates states of change and decay through colour. The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn continue to merge the natural and the synthetic. The gradient of colour, texture and materiality coalesces in the Capricorn form: raw rope, MDF, sheep’s wool, expandable foam, plaster. Capricorn is coiled against the back wall creating and holding otherworldy tension.

Francis Carmody’s artistic practice serves as a useful alibi to reach out to people across disciplines and technical capabilities to share stories and complete projects. Through tracing networks and natural structures, he would like to get a glimpse of where we have been and where we are going.

This process of enquiry draws on meticulous research, cold calling, persistence, and frequent rejection. Creating an ever-expanding list of Project Partners and friends throughout the process. Including Psychics, DNA scientists, Neuroscientists, Day-Time Television Sales Specialists, Media Managers, Border Force Agents, Computational Designers, Patent Lawyers, Cartoonists, Graphic Designers, Architects, Automotive painters, Blacksmiths, Rope splicers, Stage designers, Architects, Engineers, Lighting Designers… : – )

Carmody completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2019), with a year studying Fine Arts (Hons) at Goldsmiths, University of London (2019). Recent exhibitions include Laschamp Cycles, ReadingRoom (2023), Exposure Site, Gertrude Glasshouse (2022), And Shuffling, Conners Conners, Melbourne (2022)

Public Program
Francis Carmody

Artist Talk: Francis Carmody in conversation with Amelia Winata

Artist TalkSaturday 11 November, 5amGertrude Glasshouse

Watch artist Francis Carmody and Curator in Residence Amelia Winata on Saturday 11 November at 4pm, the final day of the the exhibition, as they discuss A Relic Remains at Gertrude Glasshouse.  

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Thank you to: Rowan Lear, Roger Mitchell, Carlton Dental, Industrial Carving, Melbourne Rope Supplies, Benjamin Dalby, Bill Christensen, Amelia Winata, Mark Feary, Ian Bunyi, Sharon Flynn, Tracy Burgess and Brigit Ryan for your assistance and help with research, production, and personal guidance.

This project was made possible through support from the VCA Foundation board with the VCA50 Creative Development Grant and Yarra City Council with support from its small project grants.

Gertrude Glasshouse is generously supported by Michael Schwarz and David Clouston.

The 2023 Gertrude Glasshouse Program is supported by the City of Yarra.

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Gertrude Contemporary

Wurundjeri Country
21-31 High Street
Preston South VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Gertrude Glasshouse

Wurundjeri Country
44 Glasshouse Road
Collingwood VIC
Melbourne, Australia

Opening hours:
Thursday–Saturday 12–5pm