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Fri 25 Jul 2008–Sun 17 Aug 2008, 9:30am

Where: Artis Gallery, 280 Parnell Road, Parnell

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Listed by: Artis

Introducing is a group exhibition featuring four emerging artists showing at Artis Gallery for the first time.

Emma Fitts transforms canvas from its traditionally recessive support mechanism to the forefront of her art practice. Canvas is scrunched, folded, puckered and creased, creating objects that sit distinctly between the two and three-dimensional realm. Paint becomes a secondary medium as the canvas becomes the support, depth, image, form and illusion of the work. What results is a straddling of order and disorder as material spontaneity and the procedure of formal decision-making combine.

Eileen Leung constructs jewel-like artworks using unconventional materials and organic forms. The structures hint at the familiar but an interpretation of what they may represent remains illusive. They refer at once to the real world and abstract form; traditional Chinese painting, domestic goods and cartoon-style drawing can all be read into the forms. They can appear intricate and delicate and yet playful and humorous. When huddled together, these small, vividly coloured works in vivid are reminiscent of trinkets one would uncover in a market stall or bustling bizarre. They teeter between the realms high art and consumer products, an intentional ploy encouraging the viewer to question the nature of art.

Benjamin McManus’ site-specific works employ commonplace materials with an industrial feel, exploring relationships between the site and the structure of three-dimensional art. Sites are transformed into territories through the continuous focal shift between the surface of a material and the space of a sculpture. Space is an active and integral dimension in McManus’ work. In Joyce, the eye is drawn to the space between as much as it is to the physical elements of the work. Three circles, each with a 60° segment removed, form the three corners of a large triangle. The viewer’s eye flicks between the circles and the shape these circles have created. If the circles act as a frame, the subject becomes the triangular space between.

In her photography, Fifi Cheung investigates the translucent, rounded surface of a balloon. By dribbling paint down the surface, or placing a feather inside the balloon, Cheung not only emphasises the balloon’s rounded surface, but also the emptiness inside its walls. In some, yellow paint trickles down the balloon’s exterior like thick treacle. It appears not yet quite dry, and offers the enticing prospect of reaching out with one’s fingers and drawing it across the paint. Her white works, which use paint or a feather to create interest, offer a subtler response, they are quiet, airy, cloud-like forms that allude to the original intention of the object in their lightness. By photographing only details of the balloons, their true nature is obscured. Instead, their soft curves conjure feminine forms; a breast or pregnant belly.

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