Gow Langsford Gallery’s 2008 Melbourne Art Fair stand will show an exciting new direction in Shane Cotton’s practice.
Works in the exhibition, were developed during Cotton’s three month artist’s residency at Artspace in Sydney earlier this year. At the fair, the publication The Extended Act of Looking will also be launched.
This limited edition publication contains full colour reproductions of selected works from this series complimented by an insightful essay penned by Artspace Sydney Director, Blair French.
Shane Cotton’s new works…reveal a particular intensity of focus upon the act of looking: an act that involves both visual examination – scrutiny – and imagination. Many of the works, both on paper and canvas, feature a range of outline shapes based on rock outcrops, headlands and stone-walls photographed by Cotton on his wanderings around Sydney's rocky coastal fringes (as well as sourced from landscape features elsewhere). Texture, shape and the projective form of these features assume a new intensity in the works, matching that of the Upoko Tuhituhi – literally 'marked' heads – that Cotton has also continued to work with in a studio above Woolloomooloo Bay on Sydney harbour. With rare but notable exceptions, these works have been stripped of contextualising detail, information or the associative relationships between multiple forms and figures. Instead we are faced with singular forms or shapes—cut-outs of sorts—rendered in black and deep blue and in sharp outline against stark white grounds. Intense, concentrated looking fixes objects and scenes in the mind’s eye. But concentration has its limits, those boundaries beyond which lies excess, a space of blurred certitude, of unconscious rearrangement of stimuli. This is the space of encounter with Cotton's new work. -Blair French