Purge: Paintings by Amanda Davies — 8 December 2011 to 29 January 2012

Curator: Craig Judd

 

8 to 23 December 2011 and on view to 29 January 2012


Amanda Davies evokes the power of painting to present both real and fictive experiences. Her Purge series captures a solitary performer, the artist, in a studio precisely enacting the purging of internal organs, body fluids, hair and the like. Her garb and gesture reference generic institutional sites or memories of medical care and constraint: the unexpected and uncertain. Davies accentuates the visceral impact of these images of apparent violent displacement by her technique of painting with fleshy tones against a neutral ground. The enactment process, honed and consolidated for the annual Shotgun exhibition project in Hobart, is described by writer Sarah Miller as an evoking of 'a kind of psychic reality' in order to proffer the truth behind 'the non-stop barrage of apparently "rational" information … endless detail of war, death, persecution and cruelty'. (Shotgun 2011, exhibition catalogue.)


Amanda Davies’s concerns link directly to feminist performance and art where body and movement operate as a social metaphor. One thinks, for example, of Lygia Clarke's enduring performance experiments in the 1970s with body-image using proximity and vision, connection and constraint, and, more recently, the outrageous humour of Janine Antoni's gnawing and lathering sculptures. As a painter, however, Davies also keeps close watch on the history of painting and her technique echos Goya and El Greco, painters whose uncanny ability to capture the horrors of their age seemingly prefigured atrocities to come and underlies their subversive rendering of religious or esctatic experience. From this odd art historical balance of contemporary and traditional, Amanda Davies crafts new ways of thinking about the rendering of art and life.

 

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Malady, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm Malady II, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm Malady III,  2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm  

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Pallor II, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm Pallor III, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm Pallor IV, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm  

 

About Shotgun: Shotgun is an annual early-career artist exhibition and professional development opportunity for artists based in Tasmania presented by CAST and Detached Cultural Organisation. This is the second iteration. 'Detached' supports each artist with a production budget, fee and a critical engagement program.  Shotgun operates under a flexible curatorial model with selection from applications assessed through a peer committee process. This year sixteen artists were invited to submit portfolios and, after interviews with six artists, Amanda Davies and Andrew Harper were selected and the new works exhibited at CAST gallery in Hobart.


About Amanda Davies: Amanda Davies lives in Premaydena near Hobart and works as an occupational therapist and artist. Davies holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tasmania. Exhibition highlights include Shotgun 2011, CAST Gallery, Hobart; What lies there, Depot Gallery, Sydney (2008); A brief fiction, Bett Gallery Hobart. Group exhibitions: The non-grand, Wollongong City Gallery (2009) and The world in painting (2008), An Asialink/Heide Museum of Modern Art exhibition, curator Zara Stanhope.

 

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The Condition, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm The Condition II, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm    

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Purge, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm Purge II, 2011. Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm    

 

About Craig Judd: curator of 'Detached', a privately funded, not-for-profit visual arts organisation in Hobart Tasmania, located in a heritage-listed church. Detached hosts exhibitions, artist-in-residence programs and works closely with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG). Craig Judd was senior curator at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and is highly regarded as a commentator on contemporary art and related cultural issues.

 

Links: http://www.detached.com.au and www.castgallery.org

 

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Purge: Amanda Davies, installation view, 2011 Purge: Amanda Davies, installation view, 2011    

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Purge: Amanda Davies, Llankelly Lane installation view, 2011 Purge: Amanda Davies, installation view, 2011