Spoilt for choice at M16

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"Deafening" by Barak Zelig
“Deafening” by Barak Zelig
IN the two years or so that M16 Artspace has been running in what was the former Griffith Library, it has made itself a genuine hub of visual art, so much so, that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the flood of exhibitions.

Right now is a case in point.

Until June 16 – so you’ll need to be quick  –  there are three  shows that  throw light on the physical and social structures that frame the way we see the world.

In galleries 1 and 2, Marc Rayner  has “Where will the Children Play?”  while Catherine Evans and Caroline Phillips have “Bird Hide and Bunker” and  Barak Zelig  has “Just Kiddin’.”

Originally from Wollongong, painter Marc Rayner now lives and works in Sweden, 100 km north of Stockholm. He describes his work as “highly agitated surfaces, ambiguities, scars, trash and beauty”. “Where will the Children Play?” examines children’s surroundings,  their playgrounds, where friendships are forged and social structures established, asking how have these places of play affected past generations and what impact will they have on the children of the future?

In “Bird Hide and Bunker,”  two Melbourne based artists, Catherine Evans and Caroline Phillips, exhibit photographs and sculpture while looking, among other questions,   at the very current issue of surveillance.

Via  crumbling concrete bunkers around the fringes of Port Phillip Bay, leftovers from WWII, but now home to  gulls and saltbush, they ask,  how do the structures we build hold us? How do we observe the world?

In “Just Kiddin’” (tht’s a pun)  Barak Zelig uses metamorphosis to explore personal challenges and feelings of alienation that he has faced as a Middle-Eastern migrant in a way that is accessible to a wide audience. Zelig’s animal/human/machine transformation is a frozen ‘in-between’, captured in a state in the middle of the transformation, forever.

“I always feel like a migrant,” he says. “Like the goats, I seek to survive in an unfamiliar, seemingly harsh land with different customs and cultures.”

Then in gallery 3, and on a different tack, the M16 Artists’ Exhibition Series: part 1 presents works by Micky Allan, Michelle Day, Nicola Dickson, Elizabeth Faul, Timo Nest,  Marje Seymour, Ria Tierney and Ella Whateley.

Part 1 includes sculpture, painting, photography and drawing and looks at how social structures frame the ways we perceive the world. Ria Tierney watercolours are informed by a holiday to Peru in 2012. Nicola Dickson conveys a sense of how weird and bizarre birds and beetles appeared to many early European settlers of Australia. Michelle Day is strongly influenced by medical imagery, the evolution and application of science and technology and the growth and structure of organic forms.

The shows run simultaneously until June 16 at M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, noon to 5pm Wed-Sat.

Catherine Evans, from "Bird Hide and Bunker"
Catherine Evans, from “Bird Hide and Bunker”

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