2016 Program pt 1

Back to All Events

Defence Mechanism

Defence Mechanism

Patrick Cremin

Opening 06.01.16 6-8pm
Artist Talks 28.01.16 6-7pm

“Give me a hand will ya?!”, the old man demands from somewhere in the backyard, a distant yet distinct call to action. He’s standing on a metre-tall plastic recycling bin, holding the rolled out bamboo in one hand whilst precariously balancing himself on the neighbour’s fence with the other. The flashlight has fallen onto the concrete below; the whole situation feels kind of unstable, I pick it up and hand it to him. Hastily grabbing the cable ties I begin sliding them between the bamboo and the lattice that sits atop the sun-faded Colorbond fence. Dad holds the weight from above as I make sure the placement of the bamboo is exactly 70 centimetres above the fence line. I pull together the cable-ties one by one and the bamboo begins to form a rigid barrier.

“This isn’t really a long term fix, is it Dad?”, both a question and a statement.

He’s agitated by my slight condescension.

“Nah she’ll be sweet. It’ll keep that bastard from staring into our backyard for a while”.

I loop through the final cable tie, pulling it tight around the bamboo and lattice. I pull slightly too hard and the bamboo crunches, it splinters and snaps. Dad doesn’t notice.

“It’s not gonna to stay up. The wind’s gonna knock it down”, I exclaim. His oblivion fuels my annoyance.

“Ah… when it falls down I’ll just chuck up another one”, he says with a smirk.

“Fair enough”

Drawing on contemporary notions of dread, the works in Defence Mechanisms form part of an ongoing research project that examines makeshift modifications to suburban residential space to combat a perceived threat. Summed up by 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard as being “the dizziness of freedom”, dread is the anticipation or fear of an impending threat. Using tension in the suburban landscape as an analogy of broader notions of dread, the work reacts to Australia’s relationship with conflict abroad and it’s domestic impacts.


Patrick Cremin is a photographic artist and researcher currently based in Sydney, Australia. His practice employs photography alongside sculpture and drawing to explore contemporary representations of dread, paranoia and conflict. His current work investigates condensed residential tension inside the suburban Sydney landscape.

Cremin is a current Masters of Fine Arts (research) candidate at UNSW Art and Design and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the same institution. His work was recently included in the 2015 Australian Life Prize, the 2015 Fishers Ghost Art Prize and the 2015 Churchie Emerging Art Award. He has been a finalist in both the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize and the Josephine Ulrick Photography Prize. He is a founding Co-Director of Archive Space, an artist-run gallery in Newtown, Sydney.

Later Event: February 2
Hell Broth