November Exhibition Opening - Factory49

Factory 49 Opening 6-8pm Wednesday 6 November 2019

Main gallery:  Black Vertical and Red Horizontal  (lino print series)

Main gallery: Black Vertical and Red Horizontal (lino print series)

This pairing of Factory 49’s two exhibition spaces enables artist Ro Murray to speak expansively from a reductive visual vocabulary made up of of dualities and the spaces between them. Returning to a signature colour palette of black and red on white, with rectilinearity reduced to horizontal and vertical placements, the distinct processes of printmaking and weaving interact unexpectedly as an anchor of human scale in site-specific installations. The creation of these transient interior spaces operates as a platform for an ephemeral architecture of protest. The spare language of dichotomy, presented in confined spaces suggests an urgent narrative, of stark choices ahead. Crosshairs is the title of an ongoing linoprint series, and the powerful colour and calligraphic constructions in the Main Showroom introduce the show and conceptually, the notion of targets (think climate action targets of current political debate). This series, Black Vertical and Red Horizontal suggests the vigour and irresolute nature of that debate as compositions veer between simple interactions of one or two elements to complex hashtag nests of multiple layers and pictorial strategies. Murray stresses the presence and place for imperfection in the work and pictorially, these point to imperfect humanity and the role of learning and mistakes. Another influence on Murray’s practice is Bauhaus weaver Anni Albers. Albers wove from a unique position, presenting historically marginalised womens’ handcrafted and textile traditions as equally modernist idioms. Up scaling the woven grid to bodily scale via a PVC installation situates weaving in a contemporaneity in which humans engage with environmental outcomes of industrialised modernity. Red line at fifteen hundred in the smaller Project Space is described by Murray as both a direction for art installation and a reference alluding to danger ahead. Its context here conflates the gallery hanging eye line with the weft (usually horizontal and secondary element of setting up a weave), again inviting a consideration of human scale through an altered viewing perspective, addressed within the compressed space of a small room. These resolutely linear works and interventions play with dualities, grid, scale, perspective and space as metaphors for confronting and reflecting upon the place and role of humans in shaping the future of the world. Perhaps, and as Lynne Cooke describes of Anni Albers, this means, of prioritizing the experiential over the didactic provides non-objective art with a way in which protest can meet pictorial abstraction, technology and architecture. - Lisa Sharp October 2019

Office Project Space:  Red Line at Fifteen Hundred  (wall weaving work)

Office Project Space: Red Line at Fifteen Hundred (wall weaving work)