Paper Plane Gallery in Rozelle and opened on April 13.
Above is an installation shot of the exhibition of one part of the show which features my work Impression, 2011 appearing on the right side of the photo. The work is made from tea on canvas.
Impression, 2011. Loose-leaf black tea on unprimed canvas.
By Tony Curran
Reading tea leaves has been a source for uncovering untold fortunes of the future. Whether it's reading tea leaves, coffee, star constellations, knowledge and inspiration have been developed from uncertain accidental or coincidental appearances. This is why Da Vinci encouraged young artists to find inspiration in bits of dirt on a wall or patches of damp. The process of finding an image in something vague like a cloud can be considered divine intervention, an omen or a message from the heavens. Or they could just be psychological constructions which we project onto the form to make it meaningful.
Impression is a self portrait of a teapot in loose leaf tea painted by the teapot, assisted by the artist. It's a visually vague tea painting, left open to interpretation much like how we see the world, art and ourselves, how we tell stories about phenomena, and how difficult it can be to say anything meaningful about our own selves. Its visual vagueries are a result of a lack of ability on behalf of the teapot to perform an action it was not designed to do - depict itself, nevertheless once the teapot is seen, it cannot be hidden.
What is the difference between what we see depicted in nature and what we see depicted in art? In this work the artist's has worked with the the object of the drawing while using it as the drawing tool to intentionally depict a teapot. Attempting to articulate the form of the teapot the cumbersome nature of the teapot was an obstacle for rendering a descriptive picture of the teapot. As a result the picture is a stain which slightly resembles teapotness. The sepia colour makes this impression aged, like an old photographic print. It visually reminds one of a relic such as Shroud of Turin which is itself a vague impression and its vagueness makes it more authentic as a sacred artifact. The face of Christ in toast or on a public wall seems to pop up every now and again sometimes making front page news.
Intentionality sets it apart from accidental phenomena, fluke or mistake. Intentionality alone makes the work a representation of the teapot whether or not it looks like one. The context of the exhibition further helps the viewer to see the teapot in the image, and it is through these associations and the intentionality of the artist (teapot) that an engagement with the work is possible.
You might be looking at it upside down.