29 January - 15 February 2014
Curated by Xanthe Dobbie, Felicity Strong + Andrew Tetzlaff.
Opening Night | Thursday 30 January 6-8pm
Artist Talk | Saturday 8 February 2.30pm
Sarah Duyshart, Gabriella Foreman-Brown, Megan Hales , Aimee Howard, Giulia McGauran, Tom Parsons + Adam Stone
BLINDSIDE celebrates ten years of Debut—an annual survey exhibition of the new artistic talent of fine art graduates from Melbourne’s major universities. Debut X is a special feature of the annual exhibition program, presenting a dynamic collection of the freshest batch of emerging artists, with a generous accompanying print and online catalogue. A VCE student forum with the artists in the Debut X exhibition will be held and coordinated by BLINDSIDE’s Education Program Coordinator, as part of a mentorship program in partnership with Art Education Victoria.
In 2014 BLINDSIDE has reached a milestone, celebrating our first full decade as an Artist Run Initiative. Thus this year, in its tenth incarnation, our annual curated exhibition Debut is of particular symbolic value, reflecting upon ten incredible years of contemporary artistic exploration and evolution.
For the BLINDSIDE board of directors, the opportunity to select the most outstanding works from the immense spectrum of graduating talent is a particular delight, involving excursions to all of the major graduate exhibitions around Melbourne. It is exciting to consider the intricate differences and similarities present in the creations and conceptions of each institution. This year, Debut X is pleased to represent the works of emerging artists from VCA, Monash, and RMIT University.
New technologies and installation practice stole the thematic spotlight across the board this year and this exhibition highlights the diverse range of cutting-edge exploration taken by Melbourne’s graduates; it includes 3D printing, animation, projection, digital imagery and spatial intervention. Tom Parson’s (Monash) An Attempt Towards Truth series and Adam Stone’s (VCA) Fallen series, for instance, use digitally printed sculpture as a means of breathing new life into the traditions of self-portraiture and still life. Despite the seemingly limitless artistic possibilities offered by this technology, we, as a society, tend to approach it with caution. This begs the question—what is the value of art and object making if one can achieve the same result at the push of a button? Debut X intends to join the debate, to reconsider the hand of the artist and respond to grander philosophical inquiries pertaining to the true nature of art, namely, what is it now and what will it become?
In contrast to these hyper digital sculptures is Sarah Duyshart’s (VCA) subtle wire installation, which weaves quietly throughout and around the gallery space like a three-dimensional drawing. The work sits alongside and amid the interdisciplinary installation practices of Aimee Howard (RMIT) and Gabriella Foreman-Brown (RMIT), questioning the very nature of the object and space, and inviting the viewer to navigate the gallery with an altered gaze. Here, the art has the power, and the viewer, the ability to activate and reassess. These works stray from the conventions of traditionalist practice, quite literally bringing installation to new heights and unusual places.
The eccentricity, however, does not stop here. Giulia McGauran’s (VCA) series of highly visceral photographs are simultaneously familiar and otherworldly, depicting the tongue as a delicately textured surface and a sensual object. To speak of tongues in a less literal sense, Megan Hales’ (RMIT) packing foam works are both tongue-in-cheek and tongue wagging; they shout in a chorus of suggestive slogans and brightly coloured logos—“HELLO. HURRY! GET 1 FOR ALL, +ALL FOR 1.” Hales’ project is spectacularly unrestrained, bursting forth from the gallery walls with vibrant energy and spilling onto the floor with nothing less than wry consumerist sarcasm.
Loud, quiet, technologically fabricated and delicately hand made—Debut X is packed with the 2013’s showstoppers that caught eyes and turned heads. On behalf of BLINDSIDE we’d like to congratulate all of Melbourne’s recent graduates and wish them the best of luck for their bright futures.
Xanthe Dobbie, Felicity Strong & Andrew Tetzlaff, 2014.
Image Credit: Sarah Duyshart, Wires for BLINDSIDE | Aimee Howard, High Chair | Adam Stone, A Fall From Grace (Self Portrait Crash) | Gabriella Foreman-Brown, Middle Grey | Megan Hales | Giulia McGauran, Rolling Tongues | Tom Parsons, An Attempt Towards Truth #2. (details) Images courtesy the artists.