‘Liminal_Narratives’ is the fourth exhibition in The Gallery @ Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre’s annual Midwinter Masters series. Curated by Frances Lindsay, the exhibition is her major project since leaving her position of Deputy Director at the National Gallery of Victoria. ‘Liminal_Narratives’ investigates the roles of story-telling and narrative – both linear and non-linear – through works created by a compelling selection of established and mid-career contemporary artists.
Story-telling is central to our development from childhood to adulthood, teaching us to imagine and understand, as observed by Lindsay in her catalogue essay: “Story telling is central to most people’s memory of childhood and how, at an early age, being read to opened their minds to wondrous worlds of the imagination and to the power of observation. In our first books we learn about seeing and comprehending through colour and shapes, and as we develop our reading skills, books and stories expand our knowledge of behavior and emotion. Story telling breathes ritual into the reality of human existence”.
In art, it offers an opportunity to escape the daily bombardment of information and images, spending time instead on visual narratives that stretch our empathetic abilities beyond the immediacy of everyday life.
The term ‘liminality’ is from the latin word ‘limen’ meaning doorway, or more specifically, the threshold. Many of the works on exhibition deal with transformation, fluid states of being, or key moments of transition from birth, adolescence, ageing to death. Others locate the notion of the liminal as boundary, employing the archetypes of the outsider, the masked figure, and the joker as a means to question or disrupt the structures that make up society. Of the works included in the exhibition, Lindsay observes that they “provide different starting points from which we can begin to explore the notion of storytelling and narrative”.
‘Liminal_Narratives’ presents the work of 11 artists – Rick Amor, Peter Booth, Jane Burton, Tony Garifalakis, Richard Lewer, Peter Madden, Laith McGregor, Tim McMonagle, Andrew McQualter, Sonia Payes and Gareth Sansom – who engage with a dark side, or even gothic sensibility, of Melbourne, where most of the artists are based. “This on-going engagement provides a strong platform for the current generation of artists to produce images that resonate with intriguing and mysterious content that is both poetic and astonishing”, observes Lindsay.
Resonating with complex and alluring content, this exhibition invites its viewers on a journey through mysterious realms, shifting boundaries and poetic encounters, with works by some of our best contemporary artists.
The Gallery @ Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre
Until 31 August, 2014
Gareth Sansom, And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stol’n out of Holy Writ, And seem a saint, when most I play the devil, 2013/2014, oil, enamel and pencil on canvas, triptych, 182 x 169cm (each)
Laith McGregor, Spook, 2012, Type C photograph, 76.5 x 94cm
Courtesy the artists