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Visual Arts and Design2018
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Alira Callaghan – Gallery as Residency

By Gemma Ben-Ary on 19 Feb 2018

Alira Callaghan is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores the way we shape and are shaped by our interaction with objects and materials.

A PhD candidate at Curtin University, Callaghan’s practice critiques certain philosophical discourses surrounding our relationship with objects.

She describes the space as a mysterious site between studio and gallery, and believes that a residency is beneficial to artists who can spend time away from their daily life to become deeply absorbed in the development of new work.

Gallery as Residency is an attempt to create work in situ that is affected by the space it is created in and by the people who participate in it.

It allows visitors to engage with the artist as she undergoes a performative creative journey and become part of the inspiration for artwork.

Excerpts from the artist’s journal, pages bookmarked from relevant books, sketches, rolls of tape, and bundles of materials are neatly organised and presented, inviting the viewer to consider their own creative responses to the materials and generating sense of collaboration.

The materiality of the objects on display was immediately engaging and playful, there are disco balls, shiny paper, gaffa tape, Perspex cubes, and other fun items and materials bursting with potential.

The take-home message for me was that I needed to get back into my own studio and get my hands back on my own art-making stuff.

The speculative nature of this exhibition makes it open ended and difficult to categorize, ultimately it requires the viewer to meet the maker half-way.

Without the fourth wall in place, the creative being and the audience must interact.

Peeking into the journal of an artist, or into their studio, is always fascinating. It reveals the inquisitive mind of the artist at their most unguarded, revealing elusive thoughts and fragments of ideas that may otherwise be lost, worked over, or polished out in the preparation of final pieces.

Work made during the Residency will be exhibited at the closing night on Friday 23 Feb from 6-8pm.

Ending
25 Feb 2018
The Gallery at Paper Mountain
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Gemma Ben-Ary

Gemma Ben-Ary

Gemma is the cosmic love-child of Indiana Jones and Jem™ who once jumped a horse over a Volkswagen for a dare. She is now an independent visual artist, writer and curator, a board member at the Mundaring Arts Centre, and the Executive Director of Ellenbrook Cultural Foundation. Gemma holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art and Writing from Edith Cowan University. Gemma is a reformed glitter addict who spends much of her free time basket weaving and thinking about how she should do yoga.

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