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"Priori Bound: and what's left behind" is the mysterious title to a collaborative exhibition between these two Australian artists which has just finished its run at Kaleidoscope Gallery in Dank Street, Waterloo.

Composition in Ruby/ArgonComposition in Ruby/Argon

Sam Mitchell_FinSam Mitchell_Fin

Collaborative workCollaborative work

What's Left BehindWhat's Left Behind

I've been following Wotherspoon's work for some time. He was one of the Founding Directors of ESP Gallery in Marrickville and I've been impressed not only by his prodigious output but by his inquisitiveness and sense of integrity that he brings to his arts practice. The recycling of glass from old cathode-ray TV screens was pretty interesting, though sometimes with mixed results in terms of aesthetics. The same could be said of his explorations with leadlight construction techinique; a certain 'clunkiness' sometimes prevailed.

However the work in Priori Bound pushes beyond previous limitations, taking the idea of three-dimensional leadlight (or copper-foil to be precise) to an entirely new level. These works are among the most successful expoerimental glass works that I have yet seen. The incorporation of mirror as a backing within the picture frame is inspirational and the use of a white frame with lots of clear glass and judicious bright colour provides a pristine quality to the whole. The glass construction leaps out of the frame and commands attention.

Mark Wotherspoon: Reflected Self Nos 1 and 2Mark Wotherspoon: Reflected Self Nos 1 and 2

As Founding Director of Platform 72 (Darlinghurst) and Kaleidoscope, this is Sam Mitchell-Fin's first solo show in his own space. Apparently there was some angst to overcome in order for this to happen.

I've not yet spoken with either artist concerning this body of work but I can see that the collaboration has been extremely fruitful. There was only one actual major work in which the two artists collaborated, "Nude Ascending Self with Light", but the whole exhibition hung together well with the pieces speaking to each other and the leadlight work often reflecting the neon.


Play on WordsPlay on Words

Phoenix (after Flavin)Phoenix (after Flavin)

Man with Self ExtensionMan with Self Extension


Woman with Self ExtensionWoman with Self Extension

The three figure sculptures above are by Mark Wotherspoon. "Visualisation" is a construction of copper tubing, an interesting extension of the sorts of techniques employed in leadlighting but with voids where there would be glass. The glass components are the cast head and pillow: the intention here is clear. Less immediately clear is the meaning behind the glass construction bursting from the heads of the dark, brooding figures on plinths. These are cast in recycled TV screen glass, looking very un-glass-like and on first impression what are intended as 'auras' appear as a kind of improbable head-dress.

It all becomes clear of course once you read the titles and statements and Wotherspoon is to be congratulated in attempting to render into sculpture something so intangible.


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