Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jill Orr - Vision

Jill Orr is a reknowned Australian performance and visual artist whose fecund oeuvre encompasses shocking and highly emotive performance pieces that burgeoned from the 1970's. Her work seemingly concentrates, subtlely orbits and makes strong connotations regarding the connections between human existence, nature, environment and art.

The works currently on display at Jenny Port gallery of Richmond until the 3rd of July, within an exhibition entitled Vision, examine the identities of students from the Avoca Primary School, concerning creative, imaginative and sustained environments that they are immersed within at this pivotal moment in life. Whilst also poignantly and quietly regarding how drought and climate change (Avoca is a rural Victorian township that has been highly susceptible to and affected by drought) has influenced their lives, beings and subsequently their identities and sense of selves.

These subtle references are conjured through the employment of a drying and cracking white paint that the children's faces bare, whilst alluding to Indigenous culture, dance and dress, something that Orr has explored in the past. Here the children's faces become intimate baron and fruitless landscapes, reflecting their environment and reminiscent of Kahlo's The Broken Column.

Furthermore, the works acknowledge the dichotomy of the gaze and facilitate both a voyeuristic, penetrative searching within these young people's existence whilst acknowlegding the limitations associated with portraiture, in the form of closed or restricted channels of gaze within images that portray the subjects with their eyes closed. Here the viewer is forced to recognize their own reflection, and position within the conveyed issue, in the dark nothingness that now engulfs them.

Whilst this series is quite different than any of Orr's other work that I'm aware of, the poignance and extremely strong whilst simultaneously subtle messages imbued within and exuding from these works is indicative of her impressive and influential oeuvre.

No comments:

Post a Comment