Simon MacEwan @ West Space

Simon MacEwen @ West Space Installation View 2010

Friday, 13 August 2010

West Space is a funky gallery on the north-western fringe of the CBD, which provides an important forum for young emerging multi-media and inter-disciplinary artists, reflective of the visual plurality of contemporary Australian art. An installation by Simon MacEwan, The Devil’s Mountain, occupies one of the exhibition spaces. It includes sculptures, furniture, lighting, and watercolours. The choice of the latter is interesting from the point of view that watercolour seems to be the preferred medium of the younger generation.

MacEwan’s technically superior abilities with this tricky and complex medium are quite astounding and are perhaps due to his background in jewellery-making, which requires precision and minute attention to detail. One set of watercolours features a dense autumnal park with large, mysterious hexagonal or octagonal objects, which are reminiscent of either alien space ships or architectural follies. Their incongruous placement within landscape setting seems to juxtapose (perhaps intentionally) the natural, physical world and analytical, geometry-based, man-made constructions. [$1,200 each]

Simon MacEwan

Another remarkable work in this installation is a 6ft+ watercolour of a skeleton, completely overgrown with – and covered in – emerald-green moss, plants, sprouting wild flowers, and hoisting a bird on its left hand [$3,000]. As has been noted in these pages so many times before, we have witnessed an explosion in fascination with the symbolism of death in contemporary Australian art, especially among the younger artists. Partly it is an “in” thing to do right now, but I am certain it would be absolutely fascinating to investigate further this dark preoccupation.

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]

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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

August 2010


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