Reflection / Submersion

Erin Coates, Carmela Corvaia, Julia Davis, Lesley Duxbury, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Sue Lovegrove, Clyde McGill, Roy Wiggan & Cecile Williams

Reflection / Submersion Thu 18 Feb – Sat 6 Mar Holmes à Court Gallery Thu 18 Feb – Sat 6 Mar Holmes à Court Gallery FREE
Event Info
Thu 18 Feb – Sat 6 Mar at Holmes à Court Gallery, FREE

Presented in association with the Holmes à Court Gallery

Reflection / Submersion considers the ocean as both a reflective surface and enveloping depth. From the multiple perspectives of above, below and within, through abstraction and representation, this exhibition explores the ocean, its life-forms and the images and imaginary visions that it inspires.

The ocean is an ephemeral and moody mass that has compelled artists for centuries. It is so appealing because of its ever-shifting colour spectrum; the textures of its surfaces, its fathomless immensity and otherworldly depths. The ocean is perceived as a wild mass in contrast to the cultivated land masses of earth, only because it is a space poorly tolerated by our land-bound bodies. At the same time, it is crucial for life on earth, as a vital oxygen-producing entity, that is more fragile and more imperilled than it looks.

Reflection / Submersion considers these points and calls upon viewers to observe both the tactile and visual sensibilities of the ocean, as well as its contemporary condition. Across diverse media, the artworks meditate on the shifting surface of the ocean, from rolling waves, to glassy stillness to icy plates. From the micro to the macro scale it presents expansive horizon vistas, intricate underwater lifeforms and the capriciousness of sea spirits. This is coupled with works about the dangers of being lost at sea and the realities of ocean pollution.

Never before exhibited and new works from invited artists will be shown alongside works from the Janet Holmes à Court Collection. A breathtaking nine-panel abstract work by Jeremy Kirwan-Ward will be accompanied by a series of eleven Ilma works by Bardi artist Roy Wiggan that detail personal stories of the climactic and spiritual phenomena of the ocean. How the ocean is demarcated by seemingly arbitrary borders is pictured in a painting by Clyde McGill. The ambiguity of the space between land, sea and sky is explored by Lesley Duxbury, and the tactility of the ocean is expressed in the patagraphic halftone dot works of Hiroshi Kobayashi. Erin Coates delves beneath the surface of the ocean with richly detailed graphite drawings of improbable lifeforms and likewise, Carmela Corvaia’s works bring life under the sea to the surface with large sculptural installations.

Sue Lovegrove pictures the frozen intersecting panels of arctic ice and Julia Davis uses a sub oceanic soundtrack of Iceberg A53a breaking in the Antarctic Peninsula to an aerial video of waves coming into the shore as a poignant comment on climate change. Furthering this point, Cecile Williams tackles the question of ocean pollution in a delicate sculptural piece. Together these works convey the reflecting, mirroring, shifting, ambiguous and troubled nature of the waters that compromise some 70 percent of the planets surface. 

Sat 6 Feb

Sat 6 Feb – Sat 13 Mar
Tue – Sat 11am – 5pm

Laetitia Wilson
Merrick Belyea & Peter Usher

Participating artists Erin Coates, Carmela Corvaia, Julia Davis, Lesley Duxbury, Jeremy Kirwan-Ward, Hiroshi Kobayashi, Sue Lovegrove, Clyde McGill, Roy Wiggan, Cecile Williams

Erin Coates – Artist
Erin Coates is a visual artist and creative producer working across film, sculptural installation and drawing. Her practice examines our relationship with and within the spaces we build and inhabit, focusing on the limits of our bodies and physical interaction within given environments. She often sets up extreme physical actions in relation to specific spaces, filming inside of sets she builds and using herself and her friends as the performers. Her use of props, lighting and action draws on the visual language of body horror, science fiction and the abject. Her work draws on her background as a rock climber and freediver, and her particular interests in female physicality and athleticism. Erin uses this perspective to probe our understandings of fear, horror, strength and survival and to disrupt conventional gendered roles and assumptions.

Carmela Corvaia
– Artist
Carmela Corvaia is a Perth-based artist working with recycled, found and natural materials. She has explored these materials and traditional techniques including felting and weaving to reflect upon themes of identity, belonging and our relationship to the natural environment. Carmela graduated from WAIT in 1983 with a Fine Art Degree (major in Sculpture) and then studied Fine Art in Italy during 1985 and 1986. Returning to Perth, she continued her art practice as well as working in Object Conservation at the WA Museum.

Highlights of Carmela’s early work include installations at PICA, for the group exhibitions Feminisms, 1992, and torque the Fourth Artists’ Regional Exchange, 1995. More recently, she has undertaken studio residencies at the Fremantle Arts Centre (2018 and 2019) culminating in a solo exhibition Resonance, at MBCAG, Fremantle. In 2020 Carmela participated in Sculpture at Bathers (beach exhibition) and received the People’s Choice Award for her large-scale woven fibre artwork, Sanctuary.

Julia Davis – Artist
Julia Davis is a Sydney-based artist who works with a wide range of media including objects, videos and prints. Her installations are often site-specific and her work has been installed in salt lakes, deserts, coastal precincts and parklands, as well as within galleries and the built environment. Julia uses her work to explore the idea that landscape is a cultural space and that the psychology of place underpins our sense of self. Her recent work engages with notions of temporality and duration and continues to examine the relationship between people and the places they inhabit; between bodies and landscape.

Julia exhibits her work nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and public art commissions. She is currently a sessional lecturer at the National Art School. Her work is represented in private and public collections in Australia and Europe.

Lesley Duxbury – Artist
Lesley Duxbury is an artist interested in the atmospherics of landscape and the sky through which she questions perceptions of place. The phenomenological experiences of extended walks in remote regions of the world, such as Baffin Island in Arctic Canada, Tierra del Fuego and Iceland, are the impetus for her investigations.

Lesley has been exhibiting for over 25 years in solo and group shows in Australia, Korea, Austria and Hong Kong. She has undertaken artist residencies in Iceland (2012, 2015 and 2017), the Australia Council VACB studio Paris (1996) and Fremantle Arts Centre, WA (2017). In 2011 she was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts New Work Grant (established artist). She is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Art, RMIT University. Her work is held in all major public collections in Australia.

Jeremy Kirwan-Ward – Artist
Jeremy Kirwan-Ward has maintained a regular exhibiting practice since the early 1970s. In recent times his work has straddled the formal structures of abstraction and his connection with the complexities of weather and natural phenomena while living a coastal existence in Perth’s northern suburbs. He is one of the founding members of Art Collective WA and is an active member of the Australian Centre for Concrete Art. He has undertaken residencies at the Kanoria Centre for Arts in India, Artspace in Sydney, Point B in Brooklyn and the Institut fur Alles Mogliche in Berlin. He has shown work in Basel, Berlin, Ahmedabad, Sydney and Canberra and is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Scotland, Art Gallery of Western Australia and numerous public, corporate and institutional collections across Australia. He is currently living and working in Sydney with his partner and collaborator, Helen Smith.

Hiroshi Kobayashi – Artist
Hiroshi Kobayashi investigates the idea of time/duration and perception of depth in painting based on digitised photographic images in order to mark out vectorised paths for paint and to dispense halftone image dots of landscapes or figures onto the canvas. He terms this practice, using the unique device of a cutting plotter with a pneumatic dispenser and a needle, Patagraphy. Hiroshi is of the view that invention and design of the production equipment forms an essential part of the creative process in creating a visual form, and exploring how our visual perception is constructed and could be embedded in the order of paint surfaces and layers. He completed his B.F.A at Tokyo University of the Arts and M.F.A at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. He migrated to Perth in 2015 by way of Distinguished Talent Visa.

Sue Lovegrove – Artist
Sue Lovegrove’s painting practice reflects an intimate and personal experience of landscape and in particular remote and isolated places that are relatively free of the presence of human beings – Antarctica, Macquarie Island, Maatsuyker Island and Tasman Island, and places where the weather and the wildlife dominate, and where the balance and order are still in favour of the natural world. Sue’s delicate and layered mark-making on canvas explores the patterning and rhythms of the land. At times delicate, soft and wispy and other times sharp and harsh, her delicate painted linework can become suggestive of sound, text, inscriptions of weather, hair, nests or habitats and communicates something about the strength as well as the fragility and the transience of the natural world.

Clyde McGill – Artist
Clyde McGill is a trans-disciplinary visual artist working across performance, print, drawing, sound, painting, video, artist books and text. He is interested in such topics as place, politics, the idea of the guest, national borders and citizenship. He has a BA (Honours) in Visual Art from Curtin University and a PhD from RMIT. He is a Fulbright Scholar (2008), spent a year as a Visiting Scholar at Parsons School of Fine Art in New York and he has been Artist in Residence at the Janet Holmes à Court Collection and Fremantle Arts Centre. His work is held in the National Gallery of Australia and other significant collections. He lives and works in Fremantle.

Roy Wiggan – Artist
Roy Wiggan is from the Bardi group in Western Australia. The Bardi's country is situated north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula. Throughout his life Roy carried on the tradition of Ilma, which refers to both the open ceremonies performed by the Bardi people and the objects used in these ceremonies. His Ilma usually concern life at sea and the various adventures and misadventures experienced by his father, Henry Wiggan. Henry Wiggan was a Bardi man of the Kimberly region who skippered the Sunday Island Mission lugger. The Ilma made by Roy are made to be used as dance apparel in the ceremonies associated with the stories. They also exist as aesthetic objects in and of themselves and have been acquired and exhibited in institutions throughout Australia.

Cecile Williams – Artist
Cecile Williams works across a wide spectrum, including fine art, theatre design, environmental and community arts. Intrinsic to her practice is the use of recycled and found materials. Working as an artist for Ghostnets Australia in remote coastal areas led to the collection of discarded fishing nets and marine debris that was intertwined with marine debris found at her local beach in the south coast of WA. This gave her a personnel connection to place and an awareness of the global waste within our oceans today. Marine debris, objects and unusual materials and the places they are found are a constant source of inspiration for Cecile. The stories and concerns that are ignited by these found objects and fragments are creative possibilities as well as a responsibility.

Holmes à Court Gallery @ no.10
The Holmes à Court Gallery @ no.10 is situated in the heart of The Pickle District in West Perth and at Vasse Felix Estate in the South West. Across both venues, a changing program includes events of national and international interest, developed through cultural, academic and business relationships. These events provide opportunities for conversation and debate about art and culture, and support the gallery’s contribution to the community. The program draws on the Janet Holmes à Court Collection, as one of the largest and most significant private art collections in Western Australia. Works from the Collection are exhibited alongside works from invited artists. This allows the Collection to be made visible to the community and creates points of connection with the local and national art scene. 2021 is the 21st year of the Holmes à Court Gallery, where it will see a burgeoning exhibition program and flurry of significant additions to the collection.

Time & Location

Thu 18 Feb – Sat 6 Mar

Holmes à Court Gallery, 10 Douglas St, West Perth


Free Event


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  • Roy Wiggan, Eleven Ilma he Hears the Sound of the Land, 1992. Copyright of the estate of Roy Wiggan
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