Rebecca Delange, Betra Fraval, Sophie Perillo, Jordan Wood, Elyss McCleary, Marcel Feillafe, Katie Sfetkidis, (On Island Island) A Journey Around My Room
What do you do when you find yourself imprisoned in your room for 6 weeks? In the Spring of 1790 Xavier de Maistre found himself confined to his room in Turin, arrested after a duel. The 27-year-old Frenchman decides to embark upon a journey around his bedroom, pioneering a mode of travel: room-travel. He wears his “travelling outfit” – his favourite pink and blue pajamas and ventures from his sofa to his bed with a “travelling mindset”.
Our proposed exhibition, ‘A Journey Around My Room’, looks at how the current lock-down period has forced artists to shift their practices to domestic settings mediated by screen- based dialogue. The exhibition project develops from an existing online dialogue between a group of artists who have been engaged in a weekly Art Chat discussion group via Zoom and WhatApp across the isolation period. Art Chats has been a forum to share work, experiences, discuss texts, watch video and be involved in each-other’s lives. It is a place to remain connected to art practice and community in times where the previous channels have been put on hold.
A Journey Around My Room initiates an opportunity for the group to collectively look at ideas of travel in restricted circumstances, and experiment with the limitations and possibilities of domestic confinement. How can we use the parameters of the domestic space, as a site to wander and travel?
Each group member will respond to Xavier de Maistre’s text and idea of ‘a journey around my room’ in the medium/s of their choice. Each response will be photographed or filmed by the participant within the context of their domestic space. The responses will be montaged together into a type of diaristic video work displaying a collection of still and moving images. The work will be accompanied by a collection of still images from the video montage and a series of written and sonic reflections.
The project and resulting work develops a type of temporal and physical connection and proximity, a record of travel, between the artists, albeit digitally, in this time of geographic distance.
Rebecca is interested in the physical intersections between temporal histories and material realities embedded in place and landscape. She utilises a range of media, sculpture, drawing, and photography, to create installation works that tell different stories and articulate unseen information, experiences, and connections about the sites she investigates.
Rebecca is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT University in the School of Art. In 2015 she completed Master of Contemporary Art at VCA/Melbourne University. Recent exhibitions include Knot Not at Bus Projects, Shut Up Mountain at c3 Contemporary Art Space and Shut Up Mountain/Topology at the Bundoora Homestead for the 2020 Darebin Art Prize.
Marcel Feillafe is a Melbourne based artist who makes work that deals with the liminal and ontology. He works in a variety of mediums, such as sound, drawing, photography, and installation. Feillafe completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2008 and a Master of Contemporary Art, at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015.
Betra is United Kingdom born, Melbourne based artist interested in the impermanence of all things. Her works contemplate our place in the world, our preoccupation with material things, and the cycle of matter in nature. Her practice incorporates painting, drawing and installation.
Graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Melbourne Australia in 2014, Fraval was the recipient of the annual Galloway Lawson Prize for Excellence; Tolarno Art Prize; The Maude Glover Flea Award; and The Seventh Gallery Exhibition Grant (Making Space ARI Festival 2007). In 2019 Fraval was shortlisted for the R&M McGivern Prize. In 2018 she was awarded the Sachaqa Centro de Arte Artists’ Residency, Peru and the BigCi Artists’ Residency, Blue Mountains. She was shortlisted for the Elisabeth Murdoch Traveling Fellowship in 2009 and received a residency at Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi, India. Selected solo exhibitions include: Wanderer (2019), James Makin Gallery, Melbourne; Moving Mountains (2017), James Makin Gallery, Melbourne; Falling into the Sky (2015), Anna Pappas Gallery; The Rope Doesn’t Hang… The Earth Pulls (2015), Five Walls, Melbourne; Still Remains (2013), c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne; The Dead Trees Gives No Shelter (2012), Linden New Art, Melbourne; Unstable Ground (2008), Victoria Park Gallery, Melbourne. Selected group exhibitions include Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, James Makin Gallery; Stratum (2016), c3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne; Expanded Gaze (2016), Bundoora Homestead, Melbourne; McClelland Sculpture Prize (2014) ,McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Langwarrin; Disappear, (201), Kings ARI, Melbourne; A4 Art, 2011 West Space, Melbourne and Forged, 2010, Trocadero Gallery, Melbourne.
Elyss McCleary is an artist who is working primarily with ideas exploring colour expansion and painting. Her practice focuses on how observing and making through various approaches develop after stains and afterimages of materials - a response in intimacy to spatial energies and forms. McCleary’s paintings draw on a variety of interests and layouts, and often hold built assemblages installed within the work. Elyss is a support worker at Arts Project Australia and teaches drawing sessionally at RMIT University.
Sophie Perillo is an interdisciplinary performance artist, musician and writer. Her devised works have been performed at major galleries, festivals and Artist Run Initiatives that include NGV, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Gertrude Contemporary, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Seventh Gallery and Kings ARI. In 2017 Sophie devised and performed ‘Riding the Night Shift’ for the site-specific performance festival Melbourne47, supported by the City of Melbourne arts grant, and has since performed for several Liquid Architecture events, including ‘Polyphonic Social’ at the Abbotsford Convent and performed in several films by media artist Daniel Jenatsch that were screened at ACCA for the 2018 show ‘The Theatre is Lying’ and ‘A Mysterious Illness’ at Arts House. Sophie was recipient of the Liveworks Experimental Art Award for ‘Woman In Car,’ performed at Testing Grounds for the Melbourne International Fringe Festival 2017, in collaboration with The Hunt performance art collective. In recent years Sophie has continued research and writing in Gender theory, Performativity and Theatricality spanning performance studies, film and music culture and contemporary art. Recent publications include a co-editorial project titled Urban Australia and Post-Punk: Exploring Dogs in Space with writer and music historian Dr. David Nichols, published by Palgrave Macmillan, and has contributed an essay examining gender and feminism in the television series Blossom to a future publication titled A Very Special Episode: Sitcoms that Sometimes Got Serious. Her self-devised performance practice focuses on the tensions that arise through the success and failure of gender roles in society within a hyper-theatrical framework and aesthetic.
Katie Sfetkidis is a Melbourne based artist whose work investigates the construction of power structures in contemporary political life. Taking a feminist lens, her trans–disciplinary practice questions the role of women both inside the art world and more broadly in public life. In 2018, she undertook her most ambitious work to date: The Mayor Project. Part campaign/ part performance, in this piece Sfetkidis ran for Mayor of the City of Melbourne, actively participating in the campaign as a genuine candidate speaking at public forums and meeting voters as well staging her own performative campaign events. She has exhibited works in both solo and group exhibitions at Kings Artists Run Space, Trocadero, Festival of Live Art and Metro! Arts and as part of the Feminist Colour In.
Jordan Wood completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2007 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching at the University of Melbourne in 2014. Her works have been widely exhibited, including group exhibitions As Long as the Night is Dark at [MARS] Gallery and Wagga Wagga Regional Gallery (2017), Horror Show at Strange Neighbour and Gippsland Art Gallery (2015) and solo exhibitions Twofold at Tinning Street Presents (2019), The Dark Passenger at Gippsland Art Gallery (2016), Flat Space at Rubicon Gallery (2015) and Atrophia at West Space (2012).