Archive for the 'solo exhibition' category

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Exhibition title with bespoke bookcaseExhibition title with bespoke bookcase

Curator Daniel O'Toole has done it again with a brilliant solo exhibition by a young Surry Hills artist named Bennett. Their third show since opening earlier this year, Soldiers' Road Gallery goes from strength to strength, bringing a high level of professionalism to what is essentially an underground Artist Run Initiative on the 4th floor of a rambling warehouse inhabited by artists, musicians and rats.

Don't Shoot the MessengerDon't Shoot the Messenger

Section 311Section 311

Face ValueFace Value

These mixed media works show a surprising level of maturity for a young artist. They are pared back and beautifully restrained, satisfying yet simultaneously leaving you aching for more. I could live with every one of these images and relish the patina of the burnished surfaces and tiny sgraffito scratchings and minute but spare detail for a very long time.

Straight From Third to Fifth (detail)Straight From Third to Fifth (detail)

In DexIn Dex

I've Got my Eyes on the Queen of Hearts (detail)I've Got my Eyes on the Queen of Hearts (detail)

This body of work represents a paradigm shift for Bennett, with his earlier work apparently brightly coloured and quite 'pop'-y, so it will be very interesting to see where these explorations in cool retro imagery take him next. A full catalogue of the exhibition, which finishes this weekend, can be found here.

Daniel O'Toole, AKA ears, has leased a space on the 4th floor of Hibernian House, renovated it beautifully and opened a gallery called Soldiers' Road. On Thursday night, 26th July, he staged a solo show of his own work. It's a great show and was well supported with a big crowd of fans.

Opening night crowdOpening night crowd

Opening night crowdOpening night crowd


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All the works were portraits of soldiers of one kind or another, all rendered in ears' characteristically enigmatic style of showing multiple views of the subject blended into one. O'Toole has been a prominent figure in the street art scene around Sydney for several years now, first coming to notice with paste ups of hand-painted faces built up from vigorous squiggles and line work. He is also a producer of contemporary music, responsible for Free the Beats.

Small worksSmall works

Opening night guestsOpening night guests

Small worksSmall works

In addition to the large paintings was a delightful collection of small works, several of them bas-relief constructions, continuing the theme of the soldier.

Coupla days ago I managed to engage Daniel in an interesting discussion of the ideas presented here in this body of work. He tells me that the resonance of the subject matter with the gallery name is actually pure coincidence: Soldiers Road comes from the street he used to live in. But there is an undeniable fascination with uniforms and what they represent and the enforcing of rules and regulations as a means of ensuring freedom.

His statement reads as follows:
The themes of uniformity and isolation offer a chance to consider the idea of freedom and identity, as we all at some point, have been institutionalised and held captive by false freedoms.

The uniform represents security and the comfort zone, and the idea that 'the institution' be it self-governing or external offers this comfort. The sense of empowerment of freedom within these constraints is an illusion; a false freedom.


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This blog is where you will find my latest news. It can range from posting images of progress of the current commission to art crit to political or social commentary, both national and international. Anything, basically, that's commanding my attention and I feel is worth sharing with you, my reader. Enjoy. My previous blog can be found at