PAPERWORK #3

9 – 26 March 2016

Opening Night Thursday | 10 March 6 – 8pm

Sadie Chandler

Sadie Chandler’s wallpaper is made of thousands of ink drawings. The black and white images are pasted one on top of the other creating an extreme version of a salon hang in a dense patterning of frames.

‘Chandler’s Paperwork series is in many ways a meditation on that vastness of visual history. The subjects in her drawings on paper have a sense of atemporality about them – cameo images of women’s faces in oval frames, landscapes, buildings and towers, sailors on deck, bottles of wine, wilted flowers in a sketchy still life – all delivered with the economy of a cartoon but without a definitive sense of period or location. Chandler’s work evokes that tumble of images that surround us but reinstated in the moment of looking with the charm and wit of an artist with an eye for combination and effect. To look at one of Chandler’s Paperwork installations is to not only consider the vastness of everyday visual experience but to also consider the connections between things. The layering suggests connections – but what might they be?’
 Andrew Frost

 


Image | Sadie Chandler, Paperwork 3, 2016. Photograph by Christo Crocker.



PAPERWORKS

Googling images is a great way to build up a personal archive. Finding connections between the images that return in that search is a fascinating process. You start with one image and then that leads to another, which leads to more, and so on.  The web is an incredible archive that stretches across cultures and through time back to prehistory and back to the present, covering every conceivable medium from drawing and painting and sculpture to film, video, sound and new media. Just the other day I searched for the earliest known film and found it:  Louis Le Prince’s seven-second The Roundhay Garden Scene from 1888. It’s fragmentary moment of life in the 19th century – men in top hats and women in large skirts walking around an ornamental garden outside a house. It reminded me immediately of Sadie Chandler’s work.

Chandler’s Paperwork series is in many ways a meditation on that vastness of visual history. The subjects in her drawings on paper have a sense of atemporality about them – cameo images of women’s faces in oval frames, landscapes, buildings and towers, sailors on deck, bottles of wine, wilted flowers in a sketchy still life – all delivered with the economy of a cartoon but without a definitive sense of period or location. Chandler’s work evokes that tumble of images that surround us but reinstated in the moment of looking with the charm and wit of an artist with an eye for combination and effect.

To look at one of Chandler’s Paperwork installations is to not only consider the vastness of everyday visual experience but to also consider the connections between things. The layering suggests connections – but what might they be? Behind every image online is the code that creates the picture but in a drawing the connection is defined by an actual and literal line.  But there’s no real space here, just the suggestion of it by deft technique. We imagine it to be a compilation so large it crowds out the wall space.  Like the invisible code that produces a picture online, Chandler’s faux-salon images allow us the illusion of something that will disappear as soon as the show ends. Everything then is ultimately ephemeral. Chandler reminds us that we may well live in an age of abundant information, but it’s another question of how we make sense of it.  

- ANDREW FROST