Friday, November 15, 2013

The Imprint Remains

Still Remains #3 & Still Remains #2, Oil on Linen

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Still Remains

An exploration of the impressions left behind when something material has gone, the paintings and objects forming this body of work act as metaphors for the impermanence of all things, as well as our tendency to cling to material objects as mementos and markers of time passing.

With a nod toward the genre of still life painting, the botanical forms referenced in these works become allegories for human relationships and gestures; the ivy clings and leaves it’s mark; the plant forms grow, intertwine and conceal; the dying flowers are kept and preserved. There is a ghostliness that lingers and is never completely erased.

The materiality of the paint mirrors the experience of control and restraint, holding on tightly and letting go. The paintings are rendered with care and then selectively dissolved in a process of erasure and potential disintegration. The material process is unpredictable and uncontrollable; it leaves behind an impression that stains the surface of the canvas.

The imprint is all that remains.
Opening Wednesday 23 October, 6pm-8pm
Exhibition dates: 23 October to 10 November
C3 Contemporary Art Space
Abbotsford Convent,
1 St Heliers Street,
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Wed to Sun, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts

The Dead Tree Gives No Shelter
Linden Innovators 2012

Looking at Betra Fraval’s blackened, uprooted tree, at her charred heart, we are invited to think of death precisely as a state of becoming, as a process of transition. The title of Fraval’s exhibition “The Dead Tree Gives No Shelter, is taken from of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, and from the first section in particular, The Burial of the Dead. For Eliot, the burial evokes not only a funeral, but also a kind rebirth, an awareness of the way death and destruction are only part of the cycle of nature: “The corpse you planted last year in your garden”, he asks, “has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?”
For Fraval, nature is both threatening and threatened. I think of forests, for instance, as the source of myth and nightmare and of forests turned to wasteland, to fields of woodchip or ash. And I think of the bushfires from which some of these very materials were salvaged: how do we distinguish between the nature that destroys on the one hand, and that which is itself destroyed? In Fraval’s delicately eerie paintings similarly, nature seems to exist both as family and as stranger, as something to which we belong but which, at another level, remains (or has become), profoundly other, accessible by means of a sort of magical thinking we have grown unaccustomed to.
Looking at these deer that have come to edge of the forest, I am reminded of the “unspeaking companionship” which John Berger described in his essay Why Look at Animals? (1977). According to Berger, animals first entered our imagination “as messengers and promises. With their parallel lives, animals offer man a companionship which is different from any offered by human exchange. Different because it is a companionship offered to the loneliness of man as a species.”These deer, Fraval told me, were drawn from one of the first night-time photographs taken of animals in the wild. It is a remarkable source-image, capturing, hauntingly, the doomed but briefly magical encounter between nature and technological modernity. It is an appearance that is, at the same time, the prelude to a disappearance.
Fraval’s paintings feel to me like memories, like the ghostly semblance of an image that remains after I have closed my eyes, a natural photographic imprint on the inside of my eyelids. Is that space distinct from my minds eye, from my imagination?

Meaning in Delay – Catalogue Essay written by Miles Allenson

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Time of Disappearances @ dianne tanzer gallery + projects

A Time of Disappearances Installation View, dianne tanzer gallery + projects

A Time of Disappearances Installation View, dianne tanzer gallery + projects

A Time of Disappearances (Aftermath), wood, taxidermied birds, paper, crystals, and black sand

A Time of Disappearances (detail), wood, taxidermied birds, paper, crystals, and black sand

Suspended in Silent Space, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

Long After it's Gone, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

Echoes of a Far off Sound, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

A Time of Disappearances #1, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

A Time of Disappearances #2, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

A Time of Disappearances #3, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

A Time of Disappearances #1, gouache on Arches, 115 x 90 cm

It Still Remains, gouache on Arches, 115 x 165 cm

It Still Remains (detail), gouache on Arches, 115 x 165 cm

23 Jul - 13 Aug 2011
dianne tanzer gallery + projects
108 - 110 Gertrude St
Fitzroy, VIC

Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm
Sat: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm

There is a haunting beauty revealed by the destructive forces of the natural world. This installation presents the scene of an elegant aftermath.

Within the current climate that constantly debates the meaning of natural disasters we are forever struggling to find our place within the natural world. Nature can expose the fragility of our situation yet also the strength of survival after an unpredictably catastrophic moment.

Y2K was supposed to have some effect, yet nature did not rear it's head. With the Mayan Calendars 13th B'ak'tun, suggesting the possible arrival of the end of the world in 2012, destruction and eschatological beliefs are brought to the foreground again... Or maybe there is an unknown calendar controlling the quakes in Japan and Christchurch, the volcanoes in Chile and the fires of Australia's bush....

In Betra Fraval's installation, debris and fragments of the natural world are strewn across space; in the way a storm can make assemblages from everyday objects. This is a silent space, where all matter goes through cycles and destruction yet also offers the possibility of transformation and regeneration.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Upcoming exhibitions

dianne tanzer gallery + projects 108 - 110 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC
A Time of Disappearances 23/7/2011 - 13/8/2011

25/11/2011 - 17/12/2011

with artists...
Lionel Bawden, Kevin Chin, Marcel Feillafe, Betra Fraval, Simon O'Carrigan & Drew Pettifer
Level 1/171 King Street Melbourne Victoria 3000 E: W: T: + 61 (3) 9642 0859

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Captured Traces

The exhibition talks about the feeling of being in-between worlds. It evokes the experience of wandering between spaces both real and imagined and explores the notion of how we hold on to the experience of a place. Also how we try to re-imagine our lost rituals and culture in a time of doubtful identity.

In my practice I am interested in the interconnected nature of all things. How we are infected and affected by we are shaped by experiences and places. How matter can form into one object and then break down into another. Mortality, matter and the passing of time.