Off the Kerb – Transgression

Words – Sheena Colquhoun

Photos – Andy Donohoe

Transgression at Off the Kerb, 66B Johnston Street, Collingwood, until August 2nd.

Curated by Michael Carolan was the Second Collectives ‘Transgression’ at ‘Off the Kerb’ Gallery on Johnston Street. The artists involved within the show were all RMIT MFA and BFA graduates, who put together a brilliant show based around the process of transgressing from their normative practise methods and media to create a curated show that presented both cohesion and jarring. The show took over the entire gallery, including the linking corridors and staircase, and the exhibited artists were: Beka Hannah, Caitlin Telford, Jess Sutton, Jordan Hoffman, Kate Walsh, Leonie Connellan, Mary Hackett, Michael Carolan, Paul Dew and Tul Suwannakit. The front room housed the works of four artists. A faux psychic reading set up, with QR codes linked to videos made by Cait Telford clashed aesthetically but integrated conceptually with the other works. A custom made life size jigsaw puzzle adorned one wall, and on the facing side was a constellation type drawing, applied directly to the wall.

The back gallery showed the steel work of Paul Dew and hanging spatial installations by Mary Hackett. Constructed from steel, wood and other materials the abstract shapes sprawled across the floor evoking a sense of motion, the work by Dew recalled both aspects of late modernism and early contemporaneity, Whilst the hanging works of Hackett posed both a spatial imposition, trying to negotiate around the hanging abstractions, and a point of interest as to ways these related to the floor works. The gallery possesses three distinct spaces. Throughout all the rooms, as well as the linking staircase were the site-specific installations by artist Beka Hannah ‘Creep’ small and non-invasive knitted wool weave together in spidery constellations across various room crevices and edges. You find yourself in a game, attempting to spot all the places these weblike appear.

Upstairs, around a corner, and through a heavy black curtain, the viewer unknowingly enters a bedroom scene. The room was dimly lit by a bedside lamp which imbued a silence and intimacy into the space. The unnerving feeling of having unwittingly entered into the private space of a stranger is ever apparent, I won’t tell you any more about that room, as you will have to see for yourself. ‘Transgression’ was a really well curated, interesting and diverse show. Whilst there were conceptual links between many of the works which emerged, all the works stood as distinct and engaging pieces. The show is on until the 2nd of August, and I definitely recommend a trip to see it.

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