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Alex Davern | Liam James | Amber Koroluk-Stephenson
On Belonging(s)
Devonport Regional Gallery
3 August to 22 September 2019
 
On Belonging(s) brings together four Tasmanian artists who are exploring how we attach value to objects, and the role they play in the stories we tell about ourselves, both individually and communally. On Belonging(s) is a reflection on how we construct our identity, connect ourselves to place, and engage with our possessions, both nostalgically and idealistically, as extensions of self.
Alex Davern Alex Davern Alex Davern Liam James
Liam James Liam James Liam James Liam James
Liam James Amber Koroluk-Stephenson Amber Koroluk-Stephenson Amber Koroluk-Stephenson
Installation Installation Installation Installation
Installation Installation Installation Installation
Alex Davern
Tartrazine is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye primarily used as a food colouring. It is also known as E number E102, Colour Index 19140 or Yellow No. 5. Tartrazine is a commonly used colour all over the world, mainly for yellow, and can be used with Brilliant Blue FCF (E113) or Green S (E142) to produce various green shades. Like many azo dyes tartrazine is manufactured using petrochemicals as starting stock, and was formerly manufactured using chemicals derived from coal tar as the starting material.- Wikipedia.org accessed 11 January 2018. - Alex Davern

Alex Davern is a Hobart based visual artist. Primarily a painter, Davern's practice has now expanded to installation and video and is used to confront various aspects of Australian culture, including major economic sectors such as the oil, art, housing, and food industries and their ability to shape our society. Since graduating with a BFA in 2012, Alex Davern has exhibited solo and group shows nationally and is represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart. He has been selected for a number of Australian prizes including The Hadley's Art Prize, Tidal National Art Award and The Glover Prize. He has received several grants and awards for his practice, including an Australia Council ArtStart Grant, winner of the Tasmanian Portraiture Prize and Tidal People's Choice Award. Davern has also received numerous studio residencies including Contemporary Art Tasmania, Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery, Launceston Church Grammar School and Villa Lena, Italy. His artworks are held in collections such as Artbank, National Gallery of Australia and Villa Lena Foundation.

Liam James
My Mother has owned a single John Campbell vase since her 30’s, it was always her prized object; stowed safely in the laundry cupboard, away from her prying children. My Father, in the listlessness of retirement, spends Wednesdays hunting for them in auction houses. Now a collection of small low-value Cambell's is scattered on a large coffee table in their lounge room. Vases are a great signifier of the European attitude towards the landscape. A vessel accentuating the belief that the landscape can be owned, controlled and organised. A commodity to be consumed. Australian ceramics often takes this a step further, not only does the vessel hold the landscape, but also it aims to represent it. Eucalyptus leaves are adorned, the yellow of wattle flourishes in rich glazes, and blues of sea/sky gird throughout. A place to hold flowers is a criticism of our colonial relationship to the landscape; the historic and continued use of nationalism in artmaking and its successful ability to whitewash history. It is also a personal questioning of my city, my family's and my personal want for a relationship to this invaded land. An adoration of its beauty tied to a melancholic rancour of its domination and desecration. - Liam James

Tasmanian born artist Liam James completed his Bachelor of Contemporary Art at the University of Tasmania in 2010 with Honours from the Australian National University in Canberra in 2012. Now based in Launceston, he has shown in various galleries across Tasmania and has exhibited nationally and internationally.He has an accompanying curatorial practice that has seen him involved with several artist-run initiatives and project-based exhibitions; these inform and compliment his practice.James works primarily with photography, creating evocative scenes and portraits rich with references to Australian art history, his personal identity and the wider canon of art. Each image cleverly critiques its place within this dialogue; and provokes questions from the viewer about the discomfort of belonging and our understanding of art and local history, as it is presented to us and by whom.

Amber Koroluk-Stephenson
Incongruous scenes blend images of landscape with modern and historical objects to explore tensions in the Australian landscape and ideas about place. The idyllic scenes merge European and Tasmanian objects and environments that do not really belong together in time or place to symbolise historical and contemporary passages between places both near and far.Black and white swans allude to the swan’s Antipodean identity, but also to its status as a species that inhabits both northern and southern hemispheres in black and white forms. This crossing of hemispheres is aimed to capture possibilities of assimilation, adaption, identity and mythology, and to consider the Australian landscape as a shifting, shared environment.These works invite reflection on how different meanings and histories can co-exist in the one place, but also on the illusory nature of painting itself and how it conceals certain meanings whilst revealing others.- Amber Koroluk-Stephenson

Amber Koroluk-Stephenson’s practice examines intersections between natural and manmade environments to explore structures of facade, and paradoxes of taming or staging the landscape. Drawing on contrasts between the natural and artificial, wild and domesticated, interior and exterior, the familiar and the unknown to explore layered complexities of identity, place and belonging within contemporary Australia.

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