Body of Water

7 February 2013

New video works by Anne Ferran, an associate professor at the Sydney College of the Arts, draw a connection between the small rivers and canals that were transformed in the lead-up to the London Olympics and a river in the southern outskirts of suburban Sydney.

Body of Water, presented by the Sutton Gallery in Fitzroy, Victoria, is the first public showing of Ferran's two new works - Body of Water and Swansong (Tchaikovsky remix)- that evocatively address the impact of urban expansion.

The video Body of Water draws upon an erstwhile journey Ferran took through a network of small rivers and canals in east London known as the Bow Back Rivers. These waterways were recently transformed by building infrastructure put in place for the 2012 London Olympics. Ferran travelled slowly by boat through a landscape of abandoned factories, waste yards and wharves, documenting the waterways' beauty before it disappeared. Watch an excerpt of Body of Water above.

Swansong (Tchaikovsky remix) was filmed half a world away on a river south of Sydney. It presents a landscape whose proximity to suburban development is belied by its sylvan appearance. Amidst a moody setting of dark water and overhanging trees we see a lone model swan seized by the water's current and swept away.

By installing the two works across Sutton's gallery spaces, Ferran alludes to the space and time that separates the two distinct worlds she has captured. At the same time the soundtrack composed by Chris Abrahams that pervades both spaces makes a comment on their underlying connection.

About Anne Ferran

Ferran came to prominence in Australian contemporary art in the 1980s with the well-known photographic series Carnal Knowledge and Scenes on the Death of Nature. Her early work, influenced by theories of femininity and representation, has been widely exhibited, collected and reproduced.

With a career spanning more than two decades Ferran has an extensive exhibition history, including individual exhibitions at the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne), the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (Hobart), the National Museum of Australia (Canberra) and the Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney).

Her works have also been shown at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria. They are held in most major Australian public collections and have been collected by museums in Japan, New Zealand and the United States.

She is currently an associate professor in photomedia at the Sydney College of the Arts, the visual arts faculty at the University of Sydney. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Event details

What: Body of Water by Anne Ferran

When: 8 February to 9 March (opening night, 6pm, Friday 8 November)

Where: Sutton Gallery, 254 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria

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