Look closely now

26 October – 9 December 2012

With its potential for aesthetic, conceptual and narrative surprises, the material used to create an artwork often becomes a deliberately eloquent and expressive partner. This exhibition explored how the resonance of materials and subverting expectation has invigorated contemporary visual art practice for both artist and viewer. For some artists, games with perception are witty or poetic. For others, the detritus of commodity culture is worked into pieces that reflect on ethical issues central to 21st-century life. Drawn from an international field of artists, all of the artworks in the exhibition evinced a respect for craftsmanship and curiosity; in turn, they managed to surprise and confound, move and enchant.


  • Susan Collis (GBR)
  • Bill Culbert (NZL/GBR/FRA)
  • Honor Freeman (AUS)
  • Mandy Gunn (GBR/AUS)
  • Maria Kontis (AUS)
  • Otto Künzli (CHE/DEU)
  • Ken O'Regan (AUS)
  • Niomi Sands (AUS)
  • Alexander Seton (AUS)
  • Tim Silver (AUS)
  • Emma White (AUS)
  • Jason Wing (AUS)

A gallery project curated by Meryl Ryan

[image right] detail of Susan Collis's Paint Job 2004, a cotton boilersuit with all marks and paint splatters embroidered in thread, 160 x 45cm. Private collection, Australia. Image courtesy the artist and Seventeen Gallery, London, UK © the artist

Artwork: Susan Collis's Paint Job (2004)