opening Sunday 28 September @ Barometer Gallery
My next solo exhibition Natura Naturans features photographic works that were made during the New South Wales firestorms of 17 October 2013. At the time Prime Minister Tony Abbot commented that firestorms are a natural part of the Australian landscape and this was simply nature going about its business, nature naturing. The reality of human induced climate change challenges these enlightenment notions of the sublime in nature. Now when we gaze at up at the clouds we can no longer be sure that what we are seeing is nature in its purest form free from the influence of human action. Scientists now regard this influence on the atmosphere as so conspicuous that we have entered a new geological epoch - the anthropocene. We as a species have not only marked the land we have changed the physiognomy of the sky.
The exhibition is accompanied by a superb essay by Dr Martyn Jolly, Head of Photography and Media Arts, ANU School of Art.
Show runs 28 September - 11 October 2014 at Barometer Gallery in Paddington
The Lookdown, Bungonia (after Fan K'uan), diptych. Pigment prints on Cotton rag. Edition 1/5. 110 x 250 cm (both panels) Rowan Conroy 2013.
The Lookdown at Bungonia is located on the edge of the Morton national park, a rugged area 170 kms south of Sydney, part of the Shoalhaven river system. I was intrigued by the form of the landscape of this area, which is dominated by weather worn limestone escarpments. In this work the two faces of the gorge are presented. On the left the seemingly pristine and rugged mountainous cliff, that recalled in my mind the famous landscapes paintings by the 10th century Chinese artist Fan K'uan. On the right is the Bungonia limestone quarry. A structure carved out of the land in monumental steps, giving it the appearance of an inverted ziggurat.
Rowan Conroy January 2014
This work was previously selected for exhibition in the 38th Alice Prize 2014 at the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs. The 38th Alice Prize exhibition opened on Friday 9 May 2014 at the Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, and was judged Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of NSW.
LAST CHANCE TO SEE
The next iteration of my Woodhouse Rephotography Project will be on view at the Australian Centre for Photography from the 31 August.
Barometer Exhibition until 23 June 2013:
Untitled from the series Bungonia, 2013. 1200 x 1500 mm Pigment print on Cotton rag paper.
Upcoming exhibition: The Woodhouse Rephotography Project @ The Australian Centre for Photography. 1 Sept - 17 Nov 2013
In September 2013 the Australian Centre for Photography will stage a major exhibition of works from the Woodhouse Rephotography Project. There will be an accompanying monograph with interviews and essays. Stay tuned...
Head on Photo festival: BACK TO THE GARDEN
Rowan Conroy. Glasshouse study # 1 pigment print on cotton rag edition of 5 + 2 AP, 410 x 560 mm, 2012
Recent exhibition @ Chapter House Lane Melbourne:
CHAPTER HOUSE LANE
1 March - 1 April 2012
OPENING NIGHT 6-8pm thursday 1st March, please join us to celebrate the opening: http://chapterhouselane.org.au/location/
Virtual Room Sheet
(far left window) Untitled # 8, from the Series Athina 2012 pigment print on cotton rag paper
1100 x 1800 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $1850.00 ea
610 x 900 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $1200.00 ea
Untitled # 5, from the Series Athina 2012 pigment print on cotton rag paper
1100 x 2540 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $2850.00 ea
610 x 1250 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $1450.00 ea
(far right window)
Untitled # 3, from the Series Athina 2012 pigment print on cotton rag paper
1100 x 2400 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $2850.00 ea
610 x 1250 mm edition of 10 + 2 artists proofs $1450.00 ea
These three images from the series Athina, depict the high-density construction endemic to the modern day metropolis of Athens where I lived for 10 months. During this time, I became increasingly fascinated with photographing Athens from the natural vantage points of Lycabettus and Philopapou, two spurs of rock that arise in the central suburbs of Athens. From these elevated perspectives the urban landscape of Athens takes on the appearance of calcified accretion on the earth. These three images, present the viewer with a horizon-less, abstract ‘all-over’ rendition of Athens from on high. My interest in the organic patterns and self-organisation of the urban landscape was the motivation for this series, a subject that is not unique to Athens, but Athens exemplifies this phenomenon in a particularly stunning fashion. The high-rise concrete apartment block is the most common architecture in Athens, similar designs are endlessly repeated, with minor genetic variations. In observing this I began to think how much the city is analogous to the structures made by non-human life forms such as ants, corals or lichen. Humans too are colonies of organisms that grow and replicate and eventually spread across the land, in this case inhabiting every available crevice. These images are a call to contemplate the physiognomy of the built environment. The look of such urban density conjures in our minds the current concerns about sustainability, climate change crisis, and population growth. This is all the more potent given the historical weight given to Athens as the birthplace of European civilisation.
The concept of photography as a means to record the archaeology of the present was central to my recent PhD research. The archaeology of the present can be defined as the recent past manifested in the physical material culture of the present. The archaeology of the present addresses the archaeological potential of everyday sites of human work and habitation and contemporary ruins. Evidence for the archaeology of the present is ubiquitous. The continual unfolding of history is witnessed in the sediment of the everyday. In these images from Athina, we come face to face with the visual outcome of decades of modern development, Athens' own archaeology of the present, and one that is quite distinct from its classical past.
Past exhibition @ Barometer gallery Paddington: