Sydney Contemporary presents 2020 is an experiential, bespoke digital initiative that supports our arts community. For this inaugural online art fair, Galerie pompom presents works by Nancy Constandelia, Danica Firulovic, Scott Gardiner, Adam Norton and Nuha Saad.

Nancy Constandelia: My works are about time, space, and the act of painting itself. Through the slow accretion of paint. I create work that allows the viewer to enter a space to ruminate about time and presence. These recent works were about slowing down, which seemed ironic that my exhibition coincided with NSW lockdown halfway through. This made me reflect even more about the importance of slowness and the passing of time itself.

Danica Firulovic: When Malevich painted Black Square in 1915, he pushed painting further into abstraction than ever before. Exploring the universality and humanism of art, my practice converses with Minimalism, and the idea of reduction.  Whilst dealing with the responsiveness of white when layered on linen, the paintings explore the philosophical, poetic, spiritual associations with white allowing for variations in emotional responses. The quietness of the work preferences the acknowledgement of stillness and void as creative and active forces, and the idea that the importance of a visual experience involves receptivity and silence. The calming and meditative quality of white requires slow engagement of the viewer, offering an escape from our fast-paced contemporary life. 

Scott Gardiner:This painting forms part of a broader series of work exploring the search for meaning and purpose through the process of painting, mediated and informed by my relationship with the ocean. The process driven nature of these works provide a framework for meaning, communicating a tension between the will to control and the joy of the unexpected, the most successful of which tend to sit somewhere in between. Painting, like surfing, works best when you submit to the elements and place trust in your knowledge and experience.

Adam Norton: The badge is possibly based on a found image of a badge used in a grassroots anti-inflation movement in the US during the 1974 presidential campaign. It also has that look of advertising design about it, and could also stem from a US advertising gimmick of a similar era. Either way it is heavily laced with that American political jingoistic design and rhetoric, with the use of red and white colour, flat, straight, bold text. Presently we find ourselves in one of the scariest and critical US Presidential races in my lifetime.

However the word conjures up many other implied meanings, mostly related to sport. ‘WIN at all costs’, ‘Will to WIN’, ‘Who dares WINS’, ‘play to WIN’, ‘WIN over’, ‘you WIN’, ‘WIN back’, ‘WIN by a nose’.

So, for me, writ large and painted onto a giant red badge, it has a direct, single-minded and determined exultation to just go out there and WIN! No holds barred, no alternative readings, no flimflam.

Nuha Saad: I am interested in the ornamental and the architectural and see my practice as a type of archaeology of the suburbs, as I seek to uncover and highlight the decorative elements of our slowly disappearing vernacular architecture. The sculpture Ornamental Fancies III is composed of turned wooden posts with Victorian and Federation era associations. The posts through their design and shape come with a pre-formed history, which I am drawn to explore. Through cutting and sanding, through arrangement and the addition of hi-key colour combinations, I seek to confuse and destabilise the viewer as colours and forms merge across the surface of the work. All the while bringing these ordinary architectural objects and overlooked elements to life to reveal their buried narratives and hidden memories to construct a sense of place, or a cultural identity.

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