Connie Hurley, Danny Leyland Rm1
Jen Datu, Colin Smith Rm2
Sophie Durand KUDO Window

Opening Friday 13 January 2023

Rm1 & 2 Exhibitions continue 14–20 Jan
KUDO Window continues 14–30 Jan

Rm 1: Star of the sea – Connie Hurley, Danny Leyland

The quilt-paintings for this exhibition began in an exchange of gifts between two artists, and friends. Based on different continents, Hurley sent Leyland stitched fabric designs, and Leyland sent Hurley paintings on different surfaces. Each then worked back into the objects made by the other, and from this system emerged the rich visual world which you can see in this exhibition, an exhibition made from a constellation of complex, highly-individualised artworks, each a blend of 2-D and 3-D, soft and hard materials, geometric design and painted images.

Images from the past appear re-assembled for this exhibition, painted to form new narratives, new meanings which for the artists enshrine a sense of displacement. Things are not happening as they are supposed to. An object is not as real as it seems. A scene unfurls as if on camera but it takes place in different places, and at different times.

Central to these works are Hurley’s hand-stitched quilts, characteristically made with both her DIY sensibility, and playful tactility. A quilt is like a collage. Different fabrics are collected over a period of time, gathered like memories, anecdotes, recipes, or songs, and, through a new design, they are brought into a new thing, something enduring.

Connie Hurley (b.1994) studied at University of Falmouth (2013), Edinburgh College of Art (2016), Royal College of Art (2020) and Goldsmiths, University of London (2022). Based in London, UK, Hurley works between London, Edinburgh, and Bruton as Assistant Curator at Arusha Gallery, producing projects across Europe, USA and UK. Recent exhibitions of her own work include When We See You (2022), in Bergen, Norway, Folk Flaw (2022) in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Memory into Landscape (2022) in Swansea, Wales.

Danny Leyland (b.1994) graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2016 (BA Painting). Leyland has exhibited internationally with highlights including RSA New Contemporaries (2017), Hospitalfields Graduate Residency (2017), EMBASSY gallery off-site project Digging (2018), and Debris Dance, a solo exhibition with Arusha Gallery (2020). Alongside producing his own work, Danny directed Vine Box Poetry, a poetry-led event platform in Edinburgh, with funding from the Hope Scott Trust and Scottish Book Trust. Most recently Danny was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant ahead of his relocation to Sydney, Australia

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Rm 2: I've had a few (regrets) – Jen Datu, Colin Smith

Using the My Way Killings as a point of departure, Smith and Datu adopt a method of practice-led research to respond to the bizarre and violent phenomenon. Both friends experienced similar Filipino Catholic upbringings in Australian suburbia, and recontextualise familiar items and imagery as an act of devotion to reclaim a future after trauma. Paper mache, textiles, karaoke and digital collage are used as a bricolage of homely mediums to convey comfort and humour. Embellishment and dazzling elements are also employed, inviting viewers to draw lines between religious iconography and karaoke bar environments. Through their making and conversations, both Smith and Datu reflect on what queer and complex migrant identities can look like, and what empowerment after personal and cultural curse-breaking means to them.

Colin Smith (he/they) is a queer and neurodiverse Filipinx artist practicing on Whadjuk Noongarboodja (Boorloo/Perth). Colin graduated with a BFA from Curtin University in 2017 and has been developing a multidisciplinary practice with a specific focus in digital collage, painting and installation. From their upbringing in a Catholic migrant household, Colin considers what devotion and togetherness means to them now, exploring the way they experience interpersonal dynamics, friendships and queer rituals.

Jen Datu is a queer Filipinx-Australian artist living and working on Whadjuk Noongar country. They graduated from Curtin with a BFA in 2019. Their multidisciplinary practice questions and reflect upon predetermined readings of space, body and culture. They are forever exploring and learning and they will never get out of the forest.

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KUDO Window: a rainbow all around – Sophie Durand

“To view a rainbow, your back must be to the sun as you look at an approximately 40 degree angle above the ground into a region of the atmosphere with suspended droplets of water or even a light mist.” (Physics Classroom [on-line] : Rainbow formation) To view a rainbow hovering above the ocean, the sun doesn’t have to be as high in the sky: it can be 10 degrees lower. You can see the rainbow when you dive through a wave, a wave that picks you up just enough so you fall down and move towards/into the middle of a rainbow, a rainbow that is all around you. I noticed the rainbow one day during a swim at City Beach and since then I have been trying to find means to hold onto this observation. This exhibition shares part of this process.

Sophie Durand is a multi-disciplinary artist based between Perth, Australia and Vilnius, Lithuania whose practice engages installation, collection, drawing and text. Projects are catalysed by experiences, observations and artefacts. Encounters set narratives in motion and generate into larger investigations, collections and networks through a diverse range of methods.

Sophie has a BA (Hons 1st Class) in Fine Art from Curtin University and has completed the Masters in Contemporary Art Program at the Estonian Academy of Arts (with distinction). She is currently a Doctor of Art candidate at the Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania.

Sophie will be hosting a series of public events on the occasion of this exhibition. [A] Swim(s) Parallel to the Horizon Line | 16th, 18th, 20th January | 7am | Meet between the groynes at City Beach. Please join Sophie to swim between the groynes at City Beach; together we will traverse the 850 ms of water swimming parallel to the horizon. We will meet under a beach umbrella and tea will be served following the swim.  Reading Aloud: ‘The Waves’ by Virginia Woolf | 29th January | 11am - 8pm(ish) | Pig Melon 181 Lord Street, Boorloo (Perth).

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Designs Leigh Craft. Photos Guy Louden.