VULPES VULPES
Hiroe Komai (left), Tom Ormond (right

Depot

11 September – 3 October 2010

Charlesworth, Lewandowski and Mann, Tod Hanson, Hiroe Komai, Tom Ormond, Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint

curated by Stewart Gough.

DEPOT was an invitation to five artists, collectives and collaborations to exhibit new work responding to the specifics of the Vulpes Vulpes project space.  Vulpes Vulpes and its associated artists studio community was at the time located within the historic Clapton tram depot; a familiar landmark of the area’s Victorian heritage. A landmark which was scheduled for demolition and development.

The project invited a collective reflection upon the site’s function as a depot, from the original designed use as both stables and for the garaging and maintenance of vehicles, to stationing artists investigations within gallery and studio.

The ‘depot’ provides a physical and temporal space for intersection, interaction and exchange and facilitates the trial and testing of individual critical engagement.

DEPOT is a celebration of the project space as a temporary stationing point acting as both host and independent hub for distribution.

The exhibited works demonstrated an enthusiastic engagement with the space, displaying a spectrum of response spanning studio-based painting and relief sculpture to site-specific installation, socially engaged intervention and conceptualised performance.

Charlesworth, Lewandowski and Mann’s scaffold superstructure straddled its concrete base constructed within the spirit of impromptu protest and civic subversion.  Incorporating a speaker system, the apparatus played host to a new sound work of abstracted protest chants.

Tod Hanson provided a significant graphical intervention, registering his presence within the space by painting directly across two walls of the gallery. He described the work as a ‘brittle planet of twisted fossil blossom, as it explodes its locality and becomes lost in the wide-screen vastness of the confined space.’

Hiroe Komai‘s collage of small geometric cut-outs provided the essential insight into the process and methodology leading to her suspended construction in perspex and wood: a relief sculpture of shifting hexagonal planes suspended cloud-like against the gallery’s characteristic roof structure.

Tom Ormond‘s large scale painting re-cast the space as a rustic interior in timber and stone, a deliberate caricature of the nostalgia for the building’s bygone age. True to Ormond’s recent works depicting interior spaces we see a central, almost supernatural vortex taking form; paint and light signifying a creative presence, providing the essential access point for abstraction.

Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint used the venue as host for their ongoing project exploring performative ways of re-telling film narrative. Presented as a video document, this work sees the artists taking turns to describe an episode of the cold war sci-fi series ‘The Outer Limits’ on a television placed tantalisingly off-screen. Standing in the place of the original image, but denied access to it, the viewer assembles from the split-screen presentation a second-hand story of mind-swapping machines, nuclear threat, and military and supernatural paranoia beyond the 39th parallel, while the frantic soundtrack hangs in the space between the two narrators.