Friday 13 November - Sarah Byrne
Saturday 14 November - Hannah Gartside
Sunday 15 November - Rachel Jesse Rae
Friday 20 November - Ophelia Bakowski
Saturday 21 November - Laglina Skogarhneta
Sunday 22 November - Renee Noble
Friday 27 November - Misklectic
Saturday 28 November - Sha Sarwari
Sunday 29 November - Ryan Bloate
The Wandering Room
208 Victoria St (enter via Elizabeth St)
The Wandering Room brings contemporary video art to the streets of Brunswick through the creation of a street-facing pop up cinema in our famous roller door entrance. Wander by Elizabeth Street on your evening walk, soak up the fresh air, and catch an evolving program of video art by local contemporary artists. BYO pocket popcorn.
NIGHT WORKS is presented as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival and amplified by a City of Moreland Microgrant.
'Useless Muscle' (2020) HD video, stereo sound, dur. 6 min, 40 secs
'Useless Muscle' is a single channel video work exploring the language space of distraction and the gestures of absent mindedness at play within screen culture. Directed by a one-sided conversation, 'Useless Muscle' unfolds an empty dribbling text propped by emojis, a masked VHS dancer, and an ever relentless distorted synth soundtrack, mindless, futile and left wanting more.
Sarah Byrne is a Queensland artist and performer currently based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her practice forges poetic inquiries with video, sound, and performative screen space. Byrne initiates transgressive dialogues with materials to unpack the complex nuances of contemporary media engagement and the cultural and historical systems that shape it. Sarah is a Queensland University of Technology graduate, past co-director of Brisbane artist-run-initiative inbetweenspaces, and video editor of VHS label Video Flex. Sarah is presently undertaking an MFA with Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and currently fronts experimental improv outfit Sky Needle. She has exhibited and performed both nationwide and internationally.
'Illusion Quilt' (2020) HD video 3 min 18 sec, Commissioned by McCarthy-Swann Projects
The 'Illusion Quilt' holds the form of whatever is underneath it. The stripes emphasise each undulating surface. In this way, the pattern becomes both a way of masking movement, and of making it more visible. The artist quotes: “I'm starting work on a new series of kinetic sculptures that embrace and extend on fabrics' innate performativity and theatrical qualities. This video of 'Illusion Quilt' is almost a test iteration of some of my propositions: moving towards an entrancing, frenetic energy. After being exhibited as a static, physical object, 'Illusion Quilt' finally lives up to its name and becomes a dynamic optical pattern in the digital realm. Created specifically for this site as a kind-of material vortex, the patterned quilt with its three-dimensional peaks/spikes/breasts becomes a hypnotic animation calling us to attention.”
Hannah Gartside works with found textiles to make sculptures, installations and costumes. She is an artist from Queensland, currently living in Narrm-Melbourne. Hannah uses cloth to honour memories and transform emotions. Before becoming an artist, she worked as a ballet costume maker and this has informed her understanding of the theatricality, and story-telling potentials of fabric. Hannah has exhibited with Ian Potter Museum, Artbank, Museum of Brisbane, Metro Arts, Blindside ARI, Kings ARI, Institute of Modern Art, and Ararat Gallery TAMA amongst others.
'Trouble Dance' (2020)
'Trouble Dance' depicts an interpretation of what pop vulnerability guru Brene Brown describes as "the hustle for worthiness" - "That dance we do so that people don’t see how incredibly flawed and human we are” (from her book Daring greatly). The video asks the viewer to think about what costumes they take on in seeing themselves and letting others see them. What is real and what is a lie? The pop cartoon aesthetic reminiscent of children's teevee also prompts questions about where the masks we put on were learnt in the first place.
Rachel Jessie-Rae is a Melbourne based interdisciplinary artist/designer working across community projects, material practices and video to create colour fuelled projects with a pop fun edge. Her work often engages questions of identity, connection and community. She has exhibited across Australia, as well as undertaking residencies and workshops at the National Gallery of Victoria, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Matoom Artspace -Thailand, Yarra Youth Services and more. Rachel acknowledges her art practice takes place on the stolen lands of the Woi wurrung people of the Wurundjeri and that sovereignty was never ceded.
'Embrace; A River Runs Through' (2019) single channel colour HD video with sound, 5 minutes and 32 seconds
In 'Embrace; A River Runs Through', the remedy of a river washes over them, through them and with them, allowing for oneness and a cosmic communion. Ophelia Bakowski performs a queering ceremony for the unseen and unheard: a healing act of letting go. The river’s force nourishes a rite of passage, a queer baptism, a bath of transcendence and a pool of reflection, in order to let go of the confines of one’s skin. In this video, the gentle and rhythmic dance of the river is a meditation upon the esotericism of nature, in turn celebrating the fluidity of gender. Bakowski demonstrates that upon relinquishing the anchors of binary statuses, the liberation of flesh and spirit may be achieved, allowing the currents to guide us into glistening states.
Ophelia Bakowski was born in Melbourne/Birrarunga, Australia (1996). Their practice uses performance, image, sound and installation, to explore the inherent fluidity and inter-connectivity of Nature and identity. Through experiences of hardship and trauma, states of transcendence and enlightenment allow for a cosmic communion with the sacred and unknown self, as pain becomes pleasure. The rituals performed in their work, become a form of healing and celebration of selfhood.
Through their work, Ophelia explores the intersection of queering and spiritual praxis. Using ritual in performative gestures that reclaim religious practices, states of transcendence are invoked for a cosmic communion with the unseen and unheard. They are interested in exploring the inherent fluidity and inter-connectivity of Nature and identity through queer ecologies.
Ophelia’s work has been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Daine Singer, Perth Centre for Photography, Blindside and Seventh Gallery. Their work is held in private collections across Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris and New York City, and in the public collection at the National Library of Australia. Ophelia has been a finalist in the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize and the CLIP Award. In 2019, they worked on solo shows at Kings Artist-Run (IamOphelia 2019) and Alternating Current Art Space (Endure 2018) – discovering the nuances of queer self in
'The Moment of Air Before a Whisper', 16mm film, 3'19"
A short 16mm film shot with Bolex camera as part of a project with local ARI and analogue film collective, Artist Film Workshop. The film levitates through the threshold upon an instance of anagnorsis- the moment in a plot when ignorance is turned to knowledge, often upon a startling discovery that reveals a tragic flaw, catharsis, or illuminates the major complexities of the plot.The Moment of Air Before a Whisper turns on a sense, feeling a whisper, Hitchcock's spell meets a philosophical 'turn'.
Laglína Skógarhneta is an artist working with 16mm film, sound, and installation to evoke abstracted, liminal, or altered states; often this looks to Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’ and the other/worldly. Methodologies include site-specific and auto-sensory field work (or ‘relational listening’ with a Bolex camera) that creates a blend of reality with theatrical or cinematic expressions and eerie worlds. Skógarhneta is the artistic director of international film platform, The Weight of Mountains which curates filmmakers to work globally in-the-field to explore concepts of humanity and environment. She is an exhibiting member of Artist Film Workshop - a Melbourne ARI for analogue film.
'Pudica, In motion' (2020)
'Pudica, In motion' (2020) is a short film about Misklectic's sculptural artwork Pudica, 2019. Narrated by the artist and paired with an original score by musician and audio engineer, Ahm, the film is an audiovisual artist statement of the statue containing detailed cinematography and melancholic drones.
Misklectic is a multi-award winning artist and maker. She completed her BFA, Honours, in 2016 from RMIT, making the Vice Chancellor’s list of academic excellence. Misklectic has a material-based, using traditional and contemporary sculpting processes to create artworks which are haunting, intricate in form and rich in colour. As Misklectic has worked professionally in video production since 2017, she also utilises software, photography and film to create digital-based art.
Under the moniker Ahm, musician and audio engineer Andrew Huhtanen McEwan creates experimental electronic music that explores the boundaries of drum & bass, ambient and IDM. They have released a number of EPs with local labels Anterograde and Provenance, and performed alongside artists such as DJ Plead, Lucy Cliché and Nina Buchanan. Andrew is also a member of various other acts, such as Huntly, Gregor and El Tee, and has both drummed and produced for many other artists. As an audio engineer, they have engineered, mixed and mastered works for the likes of Female Wizard, Gregor, Lazertits and Hextape.
Creative Direction, Narration - Samantha Sommariva
Directory of Photography - Qiao Li
Original Score 'System Drone' 2020 - Ahm @ahmsound
Sculpture 'Pudica' 2019 - Misklectic @misklectic
Co-Produced by Samantha Sommariva and Tanooki @tanookiawoo
'Against the Time' (2020)
'Against the Time' is a physical endurance performance in response to the lockdown staged by multidisciplinary visual artist Sha Sarwari in his backyard. The performance is an embodiment of what we are experiencing right now due to Covid_19, where most of us are limited to our houses and some of us are separated from our family and relatives due to worldwide travel restrictions. In this performance Sha walked for two hours nonstop on a continuous line that goes against the clock marking an outline of a heart symbol, Sha repeated the performance every morning for a month in his backyard lawn until he was reunited with his family. For Sha the performance was an act of rendering his thoughts, emotion and bodily experience in the space. He says, “The performance is an embodiment of our current time, restlessness, patience, care, hope and resilience” the month-long daily performances was broadcasted live via Facebook from seven to nine pm every morning, the live performance was aimed to raise vital funds for asylum seekers through the ASRC website and also aims to raise awareness regarding the condition of refugees and asylum seekers locked up both on shore and of shore for years waiting in limb.
Sha Sarwari is a multidisciplinary visual artist born in Afghanistan and living in Australia since the year 2000. His work is percolation of material investigation and form, within his work, he embeds multiple layers with the intent to create a visually poetic encounter. His work speaks of a place that exists between two worlds, longing and belonging, with a pointed reference to the political discourse around migration, identity, place, memory, nationhood and personal lived experience. In his recent works, Sarwari draws from the visual aesthetic of Farsi scrip in particular ‘Nastaliq’ one of the main calligraphic hands used in writing the Farsi alphabets.
Sha holds a diploma of Graphic Design from TAFE (2005), a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Queensland College of Arts, Griffith University (2015), and an Honours degree in Visual Arts from Victoria College of Arts, Melbourne University (2018). In 2015 Sha was awarded High commendation at The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize Sha is the recipient of the inaugural prize of 2016 Home art prize The Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre. In 2017 he was awarded Most Critically Engaged Work at CCP Salon, Australian Centre for Photography. Most recently, in 2018 he was awarded the Fiona Myer Award for excellence at VCA, Melbourne University, and named a finalist in the Blacktown Art Prize.
'The Fall' (2020) single channel video work, 6 minutes 30 seconds
'The Fall' is a video work in response to bodies, the piece depicts the journey of bodies in spaces that are intimate and public. Finding its way to a childlike intensity and recluse.
Renee Noble is a Maori artist living and working in Naarm/ Melbourne. Experimenting with media and ways of pictorial making her practice explores notions of time and material anchorage. Her interest in dissonant spaces is responded to in the form of video, painting, photography and found object sculpture.
Renee is currently completing an Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts at the La Trobe College of Art and Design in Collingwood and has a Diploma of Visual Arts from Footscray Polytechnic. She is looking forward to nurturing a self-propelled practice with the idea of further study.
'Waters' (2020) HD video with audio 4 minutes 47 seconds
Ryan Bloate artist statement:
Let me start with this admonition: I am by no means an artist. Until recently, I was a practicing corporate lawyer. Amidst the sturm und drang of the past seven months I, like many, had ample time for self-reflection, and somewhat-creative endeavours. In, what now seems like some kind of estranged previous life, I travelled a lot for work. During these trips I began filming short videos of things that caught my eye. Recently, at the behest of a good friend, I began to review and experiment with editing these short videos. And so, here we are...
'Waters' is a collection of footage of moving water filmed throughout Europe between 2011 and 2019. Taking this footage always gave me a feeling of meditative calm, and in some ways, speaks to the sense of transience, fluidity and impermanence that one can often experience while travelling through different countries.