Curated by Angela Casey
Essay by Patrick Sutczak
What an opportunity it is to see inside of something.
All too often the mechanics of almost everything are hidden because what lies beneath, and within, is a complicated space. Complicated because the parts are plenty, the arrangement preferences function over aesthetic, and nothing is immediately clear. The world inside is a place that exists behind a curtain that offers no apologies, and rightly so. Lifting the lid doesn’t necessarily equate to understanding, but it does is offer a glimpse into the things that we are curious to sight, curious to know. Lids of course, need to be loose, curtains need to allow being drawn, and doors need to be cast open willingly. The inside is a protected space and rarely accessible to the unknown caller who wishes to cross the threshold.
Amanda Davies and Shannon Field are brave and willing keepers of their doors. For Inside Worlds the artists have both stepped aside and allowed outcome and process to become somewhat entangled in an exhibition that not only says here it is but also here I am. A refreshing collision of artist and influence, Inside Worlds operates on multiple levels across two clearly defined spaces where Australia is the central character.
Place, experience, history, memory, facts and fictions are all evident on the surface, and deeper inspection is a mere scratch away. Contemporary masculinity is navigated through violent and repeated narratives of dark and uncouth convictism. Field examines what has shaped our post-colonised society and thrusts it into an alternative possibility. Davies explores modern identity, location and the blurriness between lived experience and precious memories. Here, abstracted ideas are manifested into resolved works alongside speculative voyeurism, and shades of truth. The midnight artists.
How much to be viewed is real, and how much of a window do we have? To be found within the work of each artist is a degree of fiction. The works are representative of deeper influences that ask the audience to engage and interpret, connect and associate. To browse the bookshelf of invented titles is an exercise in extracting information and drawing threads together – Painters on Porridge: Tasmanian Painters and their simple lives tells us something important, and personal. Roman Holiday commands attention with a deliberate mash of settler culture labour with a modern European twist and asks that we bridge these things together and make sense of it. To read with jest, is to read foolishly. There are clues within. There are buried realities and ways of speaking and ways of revealing - voices that Inside Worlds so cleverly make audible, if we should allow ourselves to listen.
Seeing isn’t everything. Peering behind the veil demands a number of senses. Nothing is literal, everything is abstract, and all is in a state of convergence and fluidity.
Inside Worlds is as much an insight of surface disturbances and all that resonates, as it is a rabbit hole.
Stay on the surface, or go as deep as you like.