A Wilder Sun
Opening 03.10.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 25.10.18 6-7pm
A Wilder Sun engages theories of kinship, memory-work, and photographic philosophy, while exploring the actualising and healing potential in the imagining of contemporary queer ceremony. The works in A Wilder Sun can be viewed as a constellation of residue, borne from a series of Romantic, transformative and devotional actions of personal and shared healing.
Cyanotype is a photographic process with a history in the recording of biological specimens, and in the reproduction of plans and diagrams, most notably in the copying and distribution of architectural blueprints. Over a century after the discovery of the cyanotype chemical reaction, philosopher Roland Barthes would position the photographic image as an intimation for death, in its ability to only reproduce that which has passed. Considering the history of both this chemical process and of photographic philosophy more broadly, cyanotype in A Wilder Sun is utilised as an alchemical substance to explore cycles of growth, change, death and rebirth. In its simple chemical requirements of only emulsion, sunlight and water, it is used as both a means of Romantic communion with celestial and earthly bodies, and as a substance for marking blueprints for transition; moments of cathartic recalibration and emotional ecdysis.
A Wilder Sun also explores the human body (and spirit) as both monument and ephemera, while asserting the healing power of autonomy in the record-keeping of its existence. The body, or its trace, appears here in many shifting states: vulnerable, alone, relational, powerful, broken, invisible, in stillness and in motion. Queer notions of family, kinship and lineage emerge in several works, as sites for love, connection and support. Collections of shroud works can be seen as abstracted family albums, while coded performative costumes allude to an intergenerational drag heritage: a compounding source of growth, strength and purpose. A Wilder Sun can therefore also be seen as an attempt at the proclamation and reclamation of personal and community narratives through the impressionistic remains of small ceremonies of tenderness and hope
Blake Lawrence was born and raised in Palmers Island, Northern NSW, across the lands of the Yaegl, Bundjalung, and Gumbaynggirr nations. He lives and works on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, in Sydney. These lands were stolen and never ceded. He extends his deepest respect to their traditional custodians, and their elders: past, present, and emerging. Lawrence studied at the Sydney College of The Arts and has exhibited nationally at Firstdraft, Seventh Gallery, C3 Contemporary, The Walls, and Verge Gallery. He has presented performance work in Brisbane’s Spring Hill Reservoirs, Sydney’s Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Art Gallery of NSW.
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