NICOLE ANDRIJEVIC, SIMON EVANS, BRIDGET O'BRIEN, JESSICA RANKIN, CHRISTIAN THOMPSON, SIMON YATES. CURATED BY JACQUELINE DOUGHTY.
“It is not down on any map, true places never are.” - Moby Dick
Terra Incognita brought together six Australian and international artists who drew on the language of cartography to chart an internal landscape of ideas, memories and emotions. Their maps gave visual form to the intangible conceptual forces that shape our lives just as concretely as our physical surroundings. While these intuitive maps may not have been factual, they were true, and they offered the viewer a passage through interior worlds more profound than those in the pages of an atlas. For this exhibition, Nicole Andrijevic made floor-based topographical landscapes, formed from layered mounds of multi-coloured sand. Owing more to the world of imagination than to geography, these miniature mountains and islands in acid shades of yellow, pink and blue stretched across the floor like an archipelago in some psychedelic republic. Simon Evans made drawings of lists, charts and maps that created order out of the daily challenges of life - relationships, career, anxieties, health - often in a humorously arbitrary way. Pieced together with notebook paper, biro, tape and correction fluid, the work had a homemade, diaristic quality, and these humble materials became Evans' tools to map the human condition. Gertrude Contemporary gratefully acknowledges the British Council's support in bringing Simon Evans' work to Melbourne. Bridget O’Brien’s wall-paintings stemmed from an interest in the links between mapping and landscape painting and alternatives to Western cartographic traditions. The abstract forms in her work were reminiscent of land-masses, but also suggested motion and the idiosyncratic ways we perceive and move through the space that surrounds us. Jessica Rankin embroided text and images onto sheer organdy to make “brain-maps”, ethereal wall-hangings that offered a glimpse into the workings of the mind. Fragments of conversations, dreams, memories and day-to-day observations mingled in a delicate network of stitched phrases and images that mapped our elusive thought processes. Christian Thompson’s work questioned dominant representations of Australian indigenous culture, by using video, performance and photography to chart what he termed a 'complex series of identities.' Through his work he structured his identity as an indigenous Australian and a conceptual artist, setting the coordinates for his own cultural map. Simon Yates’ ongoing project “Universal Cloaking Device” presented as nothing less than an attempt to map the world of art and ideas. His ingenious constructions and drawings combined high concepts, pop culture, visual puns and word play to build a kinetic, map-like metaphor for the inventive and associative mind of the artist.
Supported by British Council.