Transition refers to a process of change or adaption. It is a passage between one form, state, or condition, and another. In disrupting the viewer’s perceptions, it allows for the creation of an alterative reality.
The exhibition Transition at Jugglers Art Space brings together the works of Cherylynne Bullen, Justin Garnsworthy, and Birgit Kehr, to explore how technology can be used to physically alter images, materials, and mediums. Each artwork in the exhibition maps a transition of sorts – from the figurative to the abstract, the materiality of recognisable objects into two-dimensional forms, and a personal transition between differing worlds.
On entering the gallery, I found myself surrounded by Bullen’s pixelated images of varying colours and sizes. The artist creates these images by digitally manipulating photographs she has taken of everyday objects and personal memories until they are devoid of their recognisable features. This is seen in Yacht 2016, where Bullen has adapted a photograph of a yacht at sunset into a rotating vortex of blues, yellows, and greens. Aside from these signifying colours, the artist has distorted the original image beyond all figurative representation. In this act, she creates her own language of abstraction that carry’s metaphors of the everyday into an evolving digitalised space.
Garnsworthy also constructs his own visual language, which he describes as ‘hyperdrawing.’1 He uses the everyday office material of blu-tack as a drawing tool – stretching and moulding it into ‘blobs and smears.’2 He then scans these forms onto the computer, where he digitally enhances them in Photoshop, before reprinting the images in hardcopy. The resulting artworks are the strongest and most striking in the exhibition. Unlike Bullen’s altered photographs, the blu-tack in Garnsworthy’s work maintains its familiarity. It transitions between abstracted forms suspended in a blackened space, and a malleable material with a functional purpose. In this process, the artist extends notions of drawing and our conceptions of physical materials, allowing the viewer to experience their possibilities and limitations.3
Alternatively, Kehr’s photographs do not offer a physical transition between forms, but rather a personal and spiritual one. Having moved to Australia as a migrant, the artist was taken with the country’s rugged coastline and harsh landscape. Instead of exploring the realities and imperfections of the environment, Kehr adjusts her photographs into pristine renditions of nature. They provide the viewer with a meditative state, and seek to offer a passage into another world. In this sense, her works play on the concept of ‘Art as Therapy.’
The artists in the exhibition each offer different ways of visualising processes of transition, revealing that nothing is ever as it seems, it can always be manipulated into something else.
Exhibition Review by Alice-Anne Psaltis
1. Justin Garnsworthy, ‘About,’ http://www.justingarnsworthy.com/about/