OTOMYS is pleased to open the exhibition: Poetic Space. A succinct and aesthetically honed grouping of work by three Melbourne-based artists. The three practitioners share a common background and profound understanding of architecture and photography. Poetic Space is all about photography and architecture, yet – it is nothing about these things.

As the title would suggest, there is more going on in this exhibition than can be seen by the eye. Knight, Barbieri and Mein’s respective practices are driven by similar conceptual and technical concerns, locating their work along an ever increasing scale shift from the next to the next. From the micro to the macro, each suite of works establishes a platform from which the mind’s eye is free to wander.

Susan Knight invites us into a domestic setting with her collection of everyday, household objects. As with previous works, Susan is interested in the personal connections objects around us become imbued with over time. Suspended within a grid, these familiar items begin to fall from view as one looks closer and realises Susan is tuning us into the spaces between. Rendered through a cyanotype process, material and form, the objects once embodied start to be read as a series of blueprints. Suddenly, spaces between a string of beads undergo a scale shift and their relationship becomes a composition of positive and negative space. No longer objects on the kitchen table, rather plans for future spatial environments.

At architectural scale, we meet the works of Liliana Barbieri as though on an afternoon stroll through a piazza in an un/familiar town. Drawing from the language of Renaissance and Italianate architecture; geometry, perspective, colour and space are among her chosen media. Liliana’s carefully pared back fragments of architectural elements appear and hint at locations and moments in time neither past, nor present. The spaces created between form and sky articulate the passage into an emotional realm, the key to Liliana’s paintings.

Zooming out beyond the architectural plane, Trevor Mein draws us into the ether, high above Earth. On entering his floating world Trevor presents us with a repeating line in the sky. The line acts as an orientational device which we hold onto until we are prepared to take a leap beyond. Should one look deeper, we realise his compositions are about subtle shifts in atmospheric vapors resulting in significant changes as we move from one image to the next. Each frame brings with it a completely different psychological landscape. Mein’s evanescent medium conjures vast expanses of possible spatial configurations we find ourselves imagining into.

WORDS | Ri Williamson 2017. BFA (sculpture) M.Arch (Prof.)


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