By Peter Breen
Last Saturday night we packed in about 100 people at Jugglers for our “Status Unknown” gig, an exhibition conceived in the office at 103 when we had a spot to fill. Driven by Kira Bayfield [ Gallery Manager] the concept involved an art work response to the current state of the world with $250 first prize and the first 3 selected to be printed into post cards for circulation. We also decided to make it a democratic selection process so everyone had the chance to vote. And vote they did. The winning work was, in true come from behind style, the democratic process making its presence felt.
What I have been aware of during and particularly since the event – I’m immersed in the works at Jugglers – is that these works are all a response to the world, to the world that all the artists are in. This is a gut reaction, a considered one with little happiness but chiefly, anxiety let loose. Every work is an experience expressed, an experience of perception, an experience of construction and poetic referral. This is not happy art or Kmart copies of Iris flowers but an attempt to say, as artists do, this is something I want to say to the folks who look on this one night and this one thing – or many things – is in my heart whether I win or not. Everyone reflected longer than “click bate” longer than a “like” and considered the state and their own.
It feels,at times, as if we are a stick insect on a lilly pad in the middle of a dark pond with slight impact potential. Around us are the swirlings of the corporate world, the rules and barriers and mirth of the bureaucrats, not to mention the madness and climate change – while we attempt to stay afloat and put marks on paper. But almost 60 artists let their feelings out through those marks and my hope is that for a moment or two there will have been a connection with the soul of concern that we hold sometimes in darkness and fear but which when affirmed by our peers and elders, holds us as seers in a world of plastic pretence.