Time, space, transition and negotiating territory at SCA

13 March 2007

Time, space, transition and negotiating territory are major themes in the newly opened exhibitions of innovative works that launch Sydney College of the Arts' 2007 exhibition season.

One exhibition showcases work by graduates Juliana Bartulin and Judith Duquemin, undertaken as the first two winners- in 2003 and 2004 respectively - of SCA's prestigious $28,000 Fauvette Laureiro Travelling Scholarship.

Bartulin's 'Barcelona Devotional', fibreglass mesh and nylon thread
Bartulin's 'Barcelona Devotional', fibreglass mesh and nylon thread

A "link between time and process" inspires Bartulin's labour- intensive paintings and sculptural works which utilise found objects in a repetitive way that's meditative in both process and effect.

Her Writing about series uses paper stamens as a collage element in artworks that transcribe texts, representing each letter in a word with the equivalent number of stamens. Though this process renders the text illegible, the coded and abstracted text has an energy that reveals something of the nature of Bartulin's subject, be it clouds, light, fire or earth.

Duquemin again surprises the reflexes through her geometric abstract paintings- all experiments with irregular grids. Planes of solid colour appear to oscillate, extend towards you, dance or float about, compelling a physical response and the desire to touch to be convinced of the flat canvas surfaces.

Duquemin's 'Integrity No. 9'
Duquemin's 'Integrity No. 9'

The works, in acrylic gouache, are a culmination of Duquemin's two-year, practice-based, postdoctoral research as 2004 Fauvette Laureiro Travelling Scholarship winner.

Motivated by memories of the modernist French textiles of her childhood, Duquemin delved into 20th century textile design in France and the US and its relationship with abstract painting and feminine subjectivity.

The result is three series of optimistic works that, despite the uncanny sense of movement and the contrasting clean curves and sharp angles of Duquemin's hard-edge technique, create a sense of balance rather than conflict.

Two electronic media artworks are concurrently showing at SCA: Stati d'Animo/60 Seconds/07, a single-channel video installation by SCA senior lecturer in Photomedia Merilyn Fairskye, and Plaything, an interactive artwork by Josephine Starrs - SCA lecturer in Film and Digital Art - and Leon Cmielewski.

Still from Fairskye's 'Stati d'Animo'. Courtesy Stills Gallery
Still from Fairskye's 'Stati d'Animo'. Courtesy Stills Gallery

Stati d'Animo- translated as state of mind - takes its name from and invokes the 1911 triptych of paintings by Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni of people in flux in railway stations.

While Fairskye's work also addresses the mix of heightened dynamism, chaos and anxiety of travellers and those who stay behind, the railway station is replaced by the international airport as the site of movement, and paint is replaced by video as the medium.

Fairskye created her installation from an archive of material shot at fifteen international airports throughout 2004 and 2005.

The interactive installation Plaything comprises a series of screen-based games - Defend, Wander, Escape, Colonise, Petition - about how we negotiate territory.

From  Starrs and Cmielewski's 'Plaything'
From Starrs and Cmielewski's 'Plaything'

It evolved from Josephine Starrs' Australian Research Council Discovery Project investigating digital game culture and gender.

"Many people think young women aren't interested in games, but I found they do play games and are quite passionate about them," Starrs said. "In fact they have strong views on what they like about the games and the way women and men are characterised in them."

Part documentary as well as installation and video game, Plaything incorporates interviews with young women on aspects of game culture.

Plaything, Stati d'Animo/60 Seconds/07 and New work by Juliana Bartulin and Judith Duquemin can be seen at SCA Galleries (Balmain Rd, Rozelle), 11am-5pm Tuesday-Friday and 11am-4pm on Saturdays until 21 April.

Enquiries: Gallery Manager, Kate Major, 9351 1008,

Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 9351 2261,