SUE BESSELL + JONI BRAHAM 
Until 30 August 2014


This exhibition brings together two very different artistic practices and yet, surprisingly, holds much in common. Just as Slot sits within a landscape of temporal experiences – of staccato traffic, people passing, grabbed moments between here and there – this exhibition captures ‘the creative process of interruption’, a phrase Sue Bessell used to describes her digital photographic prints.  

In a similar way, Joni Braham’s assemblage sculptures are collected fragments; found objects that carry narrative, interrupted, and retold in new forms. A piece of lace blown up Sue's black and white digital collage forms a backdrop while a fragment of material embellishes story-telling through a fantastical object. Both consider placement and material to draw our meaning.


 

Sue adds: ‘In unsettling the relationship between the photographic image and its corresponding reality, a space of contestation opens up, where new meanings and experience are located, where the liminal self resides.’
 
This installation screams and jars and yet celebrates life with humour and poignant checks and balances. ‘The evocative (re)assemblies transform self portraiture into self representation,’ Sue continued in her statement.

It is a sentiment echoed in Joni’s words: ‘There is a joy in making art from materials that originally were used for a completely different purpose…In some sense the figures often have a sense of power tinged with foreboding or mystique juxtaposed with playfulness and eccentricity.  Almost always female or androgynous they are bold and strong.  A feminist ethic informs works.’

Therein the work of both artist carry rewritten histories. The juxtapositions within Sue’s photographic work, between original and imperfect hand-manipulated marks are amplified by Joni’s completely idiosyncratic sculptures – both exploring the multiplicity of self representation, and beyond.

But mostly, what both artists do, is offer the viewer the platform upon which to invent their own story.

This exhibition has been facilitated by artist Mai Nguyen-Long as part of Slot’s Illawarra Series. Showing until 30 August.

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