03 October 2010
I was recently in Sydney for a few days, and managed for the first time to see Primavera, an annual curated exhibition at the MCA (Museum for Contemporary Art), for artists in the early stages of their careers. Since it was launched about 18 years ago, I've had a couple of friends and known quite a few artists included in the line-up - which was a sensational experience for them - but overall I'm somewhat critical of this type of showcase. I can be a grumpy ol soul sometimes! All that said, I was intrigued to see who curator Katie Dyer had chosen to highlight. So off I went, and as I entered the first room I was immediately struck by Alasdair McLuckie's work 'The Highest Mountain Peaks Right Before Dawn'. This mural style drawing made up of individual panels that effortlessly interrelated, occupied most of the wall - the photo really doesn't do justice. I initially thought that he had burnt the images and text into the wood, but on closer inspection discovered that he had drawn directly onto the plywood with black biro pen. Crazy! The graphic style and apocalyptic narrative (I do find myself kinda partial to artists who explore a darker theme!) carried throughout is really amazing, making it a brilliantly considered epic piece. He says in his artist talk that making this body of work literally exhausted him (& kinda sent him a bit insane!), so he turned to working with craft techniques (beading) throughout the following year! Listen to his artist talk by clicking here and find his name on the right hand side. Hopefully this link will remain as it is! Emma White's meticulously handmade polymer clay models of everyday objects (mainly office stationery and art supplies) installed on the next level were also pretty special.
> Alasdair McLuckie's website, MCA Sydney