After her recent visit to Malta, Pleasance produced a series of gouache and ink urban landscapes that explore life beyond the postcard-perfect seas and skies. Her gentle hand and soft palette juxtapose the gritty chaos she experienced there, and shows a side of the tourist paradise that outsiders rarely get to see.
Below are works from the exhibition, which come framed. Please contact the gallery on email@example.com or 02 4742 0047 for sales enquiries.
14– 27 November 2019
Join us for the exhibition opening on Friday 15 November.
Traditional quilt patterns such as Broken Dishes are a recurring theme in Pippita Bennet’s work, as is the Wagga Blanket tradition – remnant and reused pieces of fabric, food bags and clothing stitched together, to provide warmth, comfort and beauty. In juxtaposition to this are Aboriginal possum skin blankets, painstakingly created, highly treasured and also warm and comforting.
Bennett creates landscapes of cloth and paper to explore relationships between people and place; in particular her own connection with place.
“I am certain we carry an imprint of the journeys of our ancestors within our being; their struggles and their joys. While I don’t believe these define who we are, I do believe they leave a ‘watermark’ in our unconscious memory. My research and my art practice is an attempt to build my understanding of who I am in my landscape by bringing this memory into consciousness.”
Bennett’s ancestors - convicts, gold followers, assisted and self-funded immigrants – arrived in Australia between the 1820s and the 1920s. Many lived on Darug and Wiradjuri country and participated in changing that Country. Archives and oral history have helped Bennett to create stories of these people and places in this ancient landscape. She visits the places where her ancestors lived, often camping, walking and sitting.
“My art is my stitched and pieced note taking, a record of my thinking as I investigate.”
Using ‘found’ or repurposed cloth and paper, Bennett dyes, prints and writes on these, often on site, using local plant material. Some pieces are altered in shape as they pass through the dye pot. They are rarely ironed before stitching, rather Bennett uses the bumps and creases and takes advantage of any uneven shrinkage to create a geology and landscape of cloth.
“In this textile landscape I create uplifts, crevasses, rivers, weathering and erosion. My work can operate as maps of place, people and time. Stains or marks left by previous use and by the dye process are akin to the marks left by natural and people-made processes on the landscape. Worn cloth is an opportunity to mend and patch and make amends for that which has a history. Not much is new and little is wasted.”
“Sometimes my thoughts take my needle for a walk. Sometimes a walked stitch forms an image or a piece of text. Words represent people, places or thoughts. The viewer is free to connect the evidence I have left and create their own story. Another researcher or another family member with a different perspective would create a different story.”
“Broken Dishes references damaged lives and Country; sorrows, scars, family violence, and struggle. It also refers to the beauty that can lie in what is broken and how we can work towards making something whole out of what is fragmented.
Join us for the exhibition opening at Platform Gallery at 5.30pm on Friday 15 November 2019, a combined opening with Amy Bell's The Complete Works of Daisychain.
31 October – 13 November 2019
In this exhibition Katoomba artist Pleasance Ingle gently ruminates on her time spent wandering the tiny island of Malta. She uses a paired-back palette of delicate yellows, subtle greys, and blue gouache, accented with ink lines and shadows, to present the urban landscape of the island.
“These are images of Malta as a built environment. A very small and ancient land that has been peopled for centuries. Spending any time here can give one a sensory overload. The congestion, the noise, the constant building, the dust and the garbage and sewerage smell. The ancient is cheek by jowl with the modern. Even in the tracts of open land there is not a rock that hasn't been touched by human hand."
"There is a beautiful madness.”
These works reflect the calm measured process of the artist, the absence of people and the chaos bringing the moody built environment into focus.
11 - 28 October
In this exhibition artist Karen Gruber explores the ideas of acceptance and resistance, using watercolour, soft pastel, pencil and pen on paper. For her first solo show, Karen has interwoven her delicate artwork style with powerful themes to produce an exhibition that is both universal and deeply personal.
There are times when Karen has needed to accept what was happening, or resist it and take a stance. Living with a personality disorder often makes this choice overwhelming and emotionally crippling.
“I have come to appreciate that whether I accept or resist is not a stand-alone decision, but a reflection of my experiences and processes leading up to that choice," says Karen. "These in between moments where foundations of choice are built are my inspiration.”
“Often an idea or concept will come to me during quiet times where I am just living, like an ah-ha moment when some parts of life have come together to form an image. From there I will start with a vague plan, lay some basic forms, then I let the art take its own shape. My works never end where I imagine them and the process of getting to know each piece as it manifests itself is very healing and insightful for me.”
20 September - 7 August
It’s not often we love an artist so much we invite them to have two shows in one year – but with the magical Emma Magenta, we just couldn’t resist. Emma, through her writing, filmmaking, art and social media presence, never tires of holding a mirror up to humanity, prompting deep reflection and, hopefully, change.
My Year As A Man is Emma doing what she does best; social experiment as art. She spent a year documenting herself dressed as a man, and the result is an examination of patriarchal entitlement, and the process of trying to remedy this from within and without.
“The process for this show was live performance, transformation of myself into “the cultural problem”, and as an almost shamanic process, undertaking through performance, writing and drawing, the act of healing.”
The exhibition will feature still and moving image, alongside Emma’s drawings and writings. Join us as we examine patriarchy and its solutions through this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.
30 August - 15 September
When you come to an event or an exhibition opening at Platform, it can feel like one big family – where values align, friends are made and collaborations spring to life. For us, family is the people we choose to spend our lives with, and so for our next exhibition we have brought together some of our favourite artists, staff and friends to celebrate what the word ‘family’ means to them.
From families of birth, to chosen and logical families, from the relatives we love to hate, to the communities we choose to surround ourselves with, the group show Family is an exploration of all these relationships and more.
Courage by Rani Brown is showing at Platform from 19 July - 5 August. Below is a selection of works included in the exhibition - click to expand and see full image. Please contact the gallery for all sales enquiries on 02 4742 0047 or via email.
Read our interview with Rani about her artwork and process here.
Of The Tarot by Marley Myles is showing in Platform Out Back from 19 July - 5 August. Below are the artworks included in the exhibition - click to expand and see full image. Please contact the gallery for all sales enquiries on 02 4742 0047 or via email.
Translating the symbolism and themes within the major Arcana into embroidered works combines artist Marley Myles' love of these mediums as a way to connect with and share collective experiences.
Embroidery has long been a form of recording stories and symbology. Melding embroidery with the mysteries and lessons of the Tarot, Marley is deepening her understanding whilst creating hand stitched pieces to inspire others to explore self, emotional wisdom and experience within the framework of the major Arcana.
9 – 26 August 2019
Join us at the exhibition opening Friday 9 August at 6.30pm
Ailie Banks’ decision to be a DIY working illustrator and author is one of the most "rewarding, frustrating, scary, joyful and often lonely things" she’s undertaken. Created in the digital world, colourful graphic illustrations and axiomatic text portray Ailie’s lived experience and the experiences of the people she has intimate conversation with both on and off line.
"Art has made me feel strong and brave," says Ailie. "The women I draw are the women I am and want to be. I want them to make others feel seen and validated and empowered in the same way I feel when I create them."
"Their creation has liberated me into opportunities I could only dream of, art has been the vehicle for deep connection in my life and a way for me to process difficult emotions and experiences."
These women have found their way into Ailie's newly published book, The Book of Bitch. To celebrate the book's release, Platform Gallery will be exhibiting large scale illustrations from the book, from Ambitious Bitch to Zealous Bitch, and all the bitches in between.
Ailie was inspired to make this body of work during a time of deep self-reflection and analysis after entering full time therapy.
"I had been reflecting on my childhood and adolescence and realised the word bitch had been a constant in my life. The idea of being a bitch seemed so all-encompassing I knew I had to explore the topic and reassess what being labelled as a bitch means to me now.”
She will be talking about The Book of Bitch and her exhibition, in conversation with Bri Lee (author of Eggshell Skull) as part of the Blue Mountains Writers' Festival here in the gallery on Friday 23 August. Bookings here.
And join us for the blockbuster opening of Ailie's exhibition here at the gallery from 6.30pm on Friday 9th August.
19 July – 5 August 2019
Join us at the opening of Courage on Friday 19 July 5.30pm.
Artist and filmmaker Rani Brown documents social movements that are evolving in response to environmental concerns. In this exhibition of painting, still and moving image, she traces the interconnecting threads of personal and environmental grief, and the stories of those advocating for change.
“As a film maker, independent story telling is key to my work and an antidote to the monopoly of main stream media.”
Courage For The Long Haul (Frogmouth Films, 14 min 2018) shares insights from two women who have been key players within a dynamic social movement in the Northern Rivers NSW. They discuss processes that united a community beyond political affiliation to help protect our life support systems on Earth. They talk about their roles within a movement of untold thousands and what sustains them for the long haul against global corporations and governments who are doing their bidding. It screened at Melbourne Environmental Film Festival 2018 and at Byron Bay All Shorts Film Festival (2019) where it won the People’s Choice award.
Knitting Nannas (Frogmouth Films, 21 min 2013) is the story of a dynamic group of women who productively and peacefully protest against the coal seam gas industry in Northern NSW. The film premiered at Flickerfest International Film Festival in 2014, where it received a Highly Commended award and Byron Bay All Shorts International Film Festival, 2014 where it received the People’s Choice Award. It has since screened across Australia and internationally.
Walking (home) (Frogmouth Films, 3 min 2018) is a series of vignettes of moments in wild spaces in the Blue Mountains, NSW. The work was begun during a period of personal grief and embodies an ongoing cycle of healing and returning. It considers Solastalgia: the environmental grief of our time.
Rani has contributed camera work to various organisations and individuals involved in environmental protest work including:
The Bentley Effect (94min Half Smile Productions 2016) documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia gasfield-free and was filmed over five years.
Undermining Australia: Coal vs Communities (35 mins, Lock the Gate Alliance 2013) reveals the threat to Sydney's water supply from underground longwall coal mining in the Sydney water catchment.
Rani has been involved with environmental protest work for all her adult life through blockading, working with NGOs, community groups and through documentary photography and film.
“When we can recognise what is at stake: bio-diversities lost, dispossessed peoples, extinctions and climate change; when we have the courage to really arrive in how it is right now in our world, we open to creativity and to intelligence. The interconnecting threads of grief can connect us with the wider ecological crisis and from an authentic space we can make choices about how we bring forth actions to protect our world. When we open to how things are, we open to creative possibilities.”
Join us for the opening celebration of ‘Courage’ in the main gallery at Platform Gallery, together with the opening of Marley Myles’ exhibition ‘Of the Tarot’ in Platform Out Back at 5.30pm on Friday 19 July 2019.