Dennis (NOZ) Nozworthy
Drawn Out: in focusing on drawing as a primary rather than secondary practice, these exhibitions look at just some of the ways that artists utilise drawing as a means of reflecting, comprehending and perceiving both interior and exterior worlds. A series of solo show: Gregory Pryor with 'Black Solander', Laurel Nannup in 'Boodja (country)', Audrey Satar 'The Fold', Duncan McKay 'Road Works' and Dennis (NOZ) Nozworthy 'Prison: Life and Death'.
Drawn Out: a drawing project
curated by Hannah Mathews
Bree Chesher, Thea Costantino, Bridget Currie, Jonathan Dady, Matthew Doust, Marco Fusinato, Richard Giblett, Matthew Griffin, Andrew Hazewinkel, Matt Hinkley, Glenys Hodgeman, Raafat Ishak, Laura Johnson, Megan Keating, Andrew Nicholls, Lisa Radford, Tobias Richardson, Tim Stone, Silvia Velez, Hayley West, Gosia Wlodarczak
PICA's winter exhibition period emphasises drawing as one of the practices fundamental to the visual arts. In focusing on drawing as a primary rather than secondary practice, these exhibitions look at just some of the ways that artists utilise drawing as a means of reflecting, exploring, comprehending, decorating and perceiving both interior and exterior worlds.
opening: Wednesday 13 July , 6pm
exhibition catalogue available from PICA: $6
essay by Hannah Mathews, design by Bree Chesher
Drawn Out, Curator & Artists Floortalk - free
Thursday 21 July, 1pm
PICA gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from Healthway to promote the â€˜drug awareâ€™ message.
In most parts of the â€˜developedâ€™ world over the past twenty years, contemporary art has been distinguished by the proliferation of artists working with electronic media and emergent technologies. The ubiquitousness of photo media and video art in particular, has perhaps unwittingly served to obscure the ongoing relevance of so-called â€˜traditionalâ€™ disciplines such as painting and drawing.
Drawn Out: a drawing project, curated by Hannah Mathews, exposes a world in which artists continue to utilise drawing as fundamental to their art practice, if not exclusively so. Drawing operates as a practice in its own right but also inhabits the intersection of various disciplines, ranging from graphic design, animation and graf culture to painting, sculpture, experimental music and performance.
In this project, drawing takes flight. The â€˜lineâ€™ inhabits not simply the page or canvas; it hovers in space, is drawn directly onto walls and floors; imitates and/ or critiques design software; exploits the body and its tools whether mechanical or digital; is both hard and soft; is as much inward, even meditative, as it is outward and active.
Artists draw with pencil, charcoal, chalk and conte but also thread, ribbon, jig saws and blades. Drawing is representational, abstract, conceptual, diaristic, graphic and illustrative.
PICA is proud to present Drawn Out: a drawing project in the context of a season of drawing. Studio shows by Western Australian artists Audrey Satar, Duncan McKay, Laurel Nannup and Dennis (NOZ) Nozworthy, as well as Greg Pryorâ€™s intensely realised solo exhibition, Black Solander, offer audiences the opportunity to engage with a myriad of drawing practices without ever exhausting the possibilities.
Black Solander is an attempt to take a snapshot of the entire census of Western Australian plants. The bio diversity hot spot of western Australia (particularly the south-west) hosts over 12,000 species (and still counting) The systematic identification of these plants simultaneously achieves two things: It continually expands the number of new species found in this remarkable region of the world and at the same time catalogues the rapid demise of other species through various man made causes. This exhibition proposes the idea of a herbarium as a mausoleum. Instead of specimens however, there will be small ink drawings drawn from the dead plants in the Western Australian Herbarium. Contrary to the traditional practice of botanical illustration, the use of black ink on black sugar paper will blur specificity and suggest a more shadowy archive.
opening: Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
Gregory Pryor Floortalk - free
Thursday 28 July, 6pm
exhibition catalogue available from PICA: $5 (plus postage)
essays by Neville Marchant and John Barrett-Lennard, design by Tony Nathan
ISBN 1-875386-58-0 PICAPress 2005
Gregory Pryor is an artist and writer currently based in Perth, Western Australia. From a background in painting, he has worked in a variety of media for over twenty years, showing both nationally and overseas. Most recently he completed a residency in the A.I.R. studios Vienna, through the Austrian Bundeskamzleramt in 2002. His current work incorporates a number of projects under the broad title Bird and Flower Painting, which combines extensive research in China, Austria and Western Australia. His work is featured in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and numerous private and corporate collections in Australia and overseas. He has been awarded a number of grants and residencies, most recently a New Work grant from the Australia Council in 2002. He is a lecturer in painting at Edith Cowan University.
Nyungar artist Laurel Nannup explores the colour of Western Australiaâ€™s South West throughout its six season cycle with her exhibition of ink on paper monoprint. The six seasons act as vital indicators to the Nyungar people indicating when bush foods are ripe, when to set fire to the land (to clear and regenerate) and when to travel.
I have always been interested in art but never got the chance to do anything until my sons were old enough and that is when I decided to go back to school and get an education for myself.
In 1998, I enrolled at Curtin University of Technology at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1999 received an Associate Degree in Contemporary Fine Arts. I continued to complete my Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) in 2000 and post graduate studies in fine arts, specialising in printmaking, in 2001. I choose to focus on printmaking in my post graduate studies after seeing an exhibition by Salvatore Zofrea. He depicted his life through a series of 100 woodcut prints. They were amazing and it greatly inspired me to study print making as a profession and to tell my stories of my life.
My exhibition, Boodja (country) represents the land, its people: past and present, the animals and the plants which grow and live within it.
My memories of when I was growing up in the bush play a vital role in this exhibition. I have my mum and dad to thank for this. They taught us a lot of things about the plants and animals that live in the bush. They showed us how to live in the bush, how to find food and water if ever we got lost. Sometimes, we would live around swamps where we would go hunting for small animals such as turtles, parrots and rabbits. We would also go for walks to collect bush foods like boorne and come back to camp and roast it on the fire.
However, this exhibition also focuses on when I was taken to the Wandering Mission. The nun would take us for long walks in the bush every Sunday during summer and we would find all different kinds of plants and animals, spider orchids, bush berries, buttercup flowers, see the occasional karda, waitch and yonga, and see birds such as the cheeky wardong, kulbardi and the big waalitj flying high in the sky.
I want to show in this exhibition, the colours of my country, its people, the plants and animals that all play an important part in its survival.
I hope one day that Aboriginal history from our point of view be taught in schools.
opening: Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
This project is supported by an investment from the State of Western Australia through ArtsWA in association with Lotterywest, and assistance from the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Laurel Nannup was born in Carrolup, WA in 1943. She completed post graduate studies at Curtin University of Technology, Perth in 2001 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) in 2000. Laurel has participated in a number of exhibitions, including Nyungar, Moores Building, Fremantle (2003); Shell Print Awards, Fremantle Arts Centre (2002); Mundjah Festival, Centre for Aboriginal Studies, Curtin University (2001); and 100 degrees, Curtin University Gallery (2000). Laurel has also been the recipient of a number of commissions, including murals for Bayswater and Rivervale primary schools, and a public art commission along the Roe Highway by the WA Main Rods Department.
The Fold is an interdisciplinary art installation that uses the medium of drawing to investigate the process of mark making, erasure and gesture, where the temporal qualities of charcoal are explored in stop motion animation, in large scale drawings and on the walls of the gallery space.
This project aims to explore the sequencing of globalised drudgery as the fold, by translating movement as a sequential but repetitive development in time and space.
The Fold becomes an animated device that moves up and down, forward and backwards, synthesized within the possibilities of an animated machine, unfolding the act of drawing, and exploring the full expression of the cultural content it embodies.
opening: Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
Audrey Satar is a Perth-based artist who was born in Poona, India. She traces her tribal heritage to the people of Gaunco Vaddo who left Goa 150 years ago. Her family left India in 1958 to travel to Africa as indentured workers. In 1977, she graduated in Fine Arts from the Escola Superior De Belas Artes, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Audrey has a Masters degree in Education from Murdoch University, Perth where she is currently undertaking her PhD. She has lived in Australia since 1985 and has exhibited in Mozambique, Portugal, Finland and Australia.
This new work, by emerging Perth artist Duncan McKay, is a study of the West Coast Drive, winding its way from Trigg to Hillarys between suburbia and the sea. In the past this road has been a significant escape route for the artist, not because of where it goes, but because he enjoys the drive. The road here rides the landscape, rather than cutting through it, and is itself a dynamic line drawing on the littoral environment.
Though there are many creative journeys charted by these new Road Works, in eclectic ways through different media, all of this work reaches toward a single destination; discovery. Through extensive exploration, mapping and documentation, the artist presents a familiar landscape as unknown territory, reconstructed from landmarks and data that donâ€™t usually catch our attention in our suburban migrations. This work focuses intently on the passages that our shrinking world of networked destinations seeks to squeeze into oblivion.
The act of drawing, by its very nature, is a process of selection and revelation. The dialogue between sea and land is overheard in the shape of road, it whispers of moving tides, currents and winds, and is contradicted by the ebb and flow of traffic. In these Road Works, the artist seeks to allow the lyrical line of the road to speak over the cars and even over the siren song of the sea.
opening: Wednesday 13 July, 6pm
An emerging Western Australian practitioner, Duncan McKay has been drawing and making for his whole life. His passion for creating led him to study visual art at a tertiary level, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons.) from University of WA and a Master of Creative Art from Curtin University.
Much of the artistâ€™s work has been concerned with engaging with his own environment in new ways and exploring suburban landscapes and domestic spaces. He works across a range of media including drawing, collage, assemblage, installation, 3D constructions and painting.
In 2004 Duncan presented two solo exhibitions; Changing Rooms at Kurb Gallery and Coastlines at Free Range Gallery and Studios in Perth, and participated in two international group shows in Aberdeen, Scotland with the Stray-Dog Collective. He lives and works in the northern suburbs of Perth.
Prison: Life and Death
Dennis (NOZ) Nozworthy
Sentenced to death in 1982, descending into blackness, a man-made hole, the lowest place a human can go to in western society.
On death row I found art.
15 years later I tried to draw a snapshot of myself, my life in prison.
This is a portrait of a man in prison, looking at and accepting responsibility for the past while holding on to the hope that it was not all just a wasted life.
opening: Wednesday 13 July , 6pm
Sentenced to death in 1982, descending into blackness, a man-made hole, the lowest place a human can go to in western society. On death row I found art.
Drawing and painting became an escape from the drudgery of prison life.
For several years I never questioned the art I made; it was enough just to be able to lose myself in making images, mostly copying art or images from books and magazines. Eventually I came to feel that I should be making my own art and I began to question not only the art I made but also what it meant to be an artist. With no real answers, I became disillusioned and finally stopped making art altogether.
Almost a year later, I saw a book about Brett Whiteley. I had it for a weekend.
I didnâ€™t understand his art but he was suggesting possibilities to me, showing me that I needed to play and experiment. Brett Whiteley inspired me to take up art again, to enjoy the process of art making, and to not take it all too seriously.
I never thought about him again, just got on with making my own art.
When Brett Whiteley died, I thought I would paint a small portrait of him, to remind myself of how close I came to giving art away, and to pay a tribute to â€˜the Manâ€™.
One portrait turned into an obsession that began to take over my own art.
I could only work on the Whiteley stuff for six months at a time and then Iâ€™d have to stop lest it consume my own art. Working on my Whiteley series did, however, make me realize that I could draw and paint and that instead of asking myself whether I was an artist, I ought to be setting my own challenges. The drawing, â€˜ Prison: Life and death â€˜ was the first challenge to myself. â€œCall yourself an artist, then letâ€™s see you drawâ€¦ Prove itâ€.
This was the largest piece of paper I could have in prison, and with no preliminary sketches, just a picture in my mind, I jumped in; pushed this drawing to the edge, for 700 hours.
After 15 years in prison, I tried to draw a snapshot of myself, my life in prison.
So this is a portrait of a man in prison, looking at and accepting responsibility for the past, while holding on to the hope that it was not all just a wasted life.
I did 22 years in prison and I never got back to complete the â€˜Whiteley seriesâ€™.
Here in my space at PICA, I will re-create that obsession, re open my â€˜Whiteley tributeâ€™, having left it behind nine years ago. I stopped making art, and he brought me back. He touched me and showed me how to believe in myself. Without the art, I know I would not have survived 22 years of prison, so thereâ€™s a deep debt, and respect for Brett Whiteley.
My â€˜Tribute to Brett Whiteleyâ€™ will be drawn in the space here, over the course of the exhibition.
I invite you, the viewer of my art, to pick up my camera and make this interactive: view or participate.
NOZ, July 2005
Born in Sydney in 1951, Dennis Nozworthy (NOZ) took up art while in Fremantle Prison 1982. Mostly self-taught, NOZ later completed a Bachelor of Art at Curtin University, and is currently completing his honors year there.
NOZ has exhibited in a number of group exhibitions of prison art, but as solo exhibitions are not permitted while incarcerated, he has held only one which occurred in Fremantle earlier this year.
Selling art through the prison meant NOZ was not permitted to know who bought his art, however, he does have work in the collections of Curtin University, Perth Central TAFE, and the WA Government, Department of Justice.
Image: Matt Hinkley, JA! (2004), pencil on digital print, 59 x 44 cm, courtesy of the artist
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
1 James Street