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OUR DAY OUT
MALLEUS MALEFICARUM

Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia 2010

MALLEUS MALEFICARUM is James and Eleanor's first solo project show at Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne. The title of the show is taken from the 15th century European manual for witch hunters. It translates from latin as 'the hammer of the witches' and was written by theologists to prove that witchcraft did exist.

The new works in this show reference many layers of history, which are merged with contemporary iconography to build new meanings. The works are ambiguous and have multiple readings, often drawing on symbolism from divergent belief systems, overlaid with a sci-fi aesthetic.

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EMPIRE

Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane, Australia 2010

EMPIRE

EMPIRE is James and Eleanor's second solo collaborative show at Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane. The show presents a series of works which are embedded with historical references and political commentary, drawing on such diverse subject matter as the Bayeux tapestry, cold war aircraft, totemic pagan symbolism and science fiction iconography.

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CONVERSATIONS FROM HERE

3+1 Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon, Portugal 2011

CONVERSATIONS FROM HERE is a group exhibition curated by James Steele at 3+1 Arte Contemporanea, Lisbon and includes works by James and Eleanor Avery, Selina Ou and Sam Smith.

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THE FOX AND HOUNDS

Schwartz Gallery, London, UK 2011

THE FOX AND HOUNDS is the Averys' solo collaborative show following their University of Sydney Power Institute for the Arts studio residency at The Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. The show presents a series of doubled works and singular pieces which reference contested spaces and indoctrinated belief systems, and have developed directly out of their research in Paris. A monolithic hand presides over the space and the exit sign on a pulsing two frame looped video work lights the way out.

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LUCKY DIP

The Darling hotel, Sydney, Australia 2011

LUCKY DIP was commissioned as a permanent artwork for the foyer of The Darling hotel, Sydney, Australia by Urban Art Projects as part of the redevelopment of The Star casino complex.

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THE GOLDEN HIND

Boxcopy, Brisbane, Australia 2012

THE GOLDEN HIND is a site of disparate iconographic objects and imagery which reference contested spaces and indoctrinated belief systems. A pair of golden thread wall drawings are set above a floor projected video work. It's an oppositional space where the hunter hunts and the hunted is hunted.

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Forum (sorella)

in SPAZI APERTI
Accademia di Romania, Rome, Italy 2008

Forum (sorella) is the sister work of Forum, completed during James and Eleanor's residency at The British School at Rome, Italy.

Forum (sorella) was made specifically to be sited in the underground corridor of the Accademia di Romania, a space suggestive of bombshelters, secret tunnels and forgotten hideouts. It was part of the exhibition SPAZI APERTI (Open Spaces) which included 60 International artists and was curated by Mirela Pribac.

This new sculpture performs as a semi blockage within the space, restricting the viewer from an easy passage. It sits like a forgotten bomb, or a lost vessel from a second rate sci-fi movie. Forum (sorella) crosses from Modernist architectural monumentality to comic book iconography.

James and Eleanor's residency was supported by the Australia Council.

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FONTANA AMSTRADA

Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane, Australia 2009

Also shown in the group exhibition Three of a Perfect Pair at MOP, Sydney, Australia 2009

FONTANA AMSTRADA is James and Eleanor's new installation, combining references to rationalist architecture with early computer game iconography, given a bit of an Italian inflection. It's a monument to minor cult ideologies, part icon, part arcade game, part statue come fountain.

FONTANA AMSTRADA continues James and Eleanor's interest in Rome's fascist era architecture, merged with a sci-fi aesthetic.

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OUR DAY OUT city limits

Spike Island, Bristol, UK 2005

OUR DAY OUT daytripper

studio installation
Australia 2005/2006

OUR DAY OUT yourspace

Artspace, Sydney, Australia 2007

Flightdeck

Sherman Galleries ARTBOX, Sydney, Australia 2007

SUPERNOVA

GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney, Australia 2008

OUR DAY OUT daytripper is a real day out, a day sightseeing, a tourist attraction.  Bring a picnic.  You can view the mountains, there’s a cable car.  You can sit by the stream.  You can take home a souvenir.

We claim, we conquer, we consume.  The landscape, both natural and manufactured, is there for our amusement.  We iconicise, fetishise, anthropomorphise.  We name, we climb, we capture.  

OUR DAY OUT daytripper is an installation which sets the scene of a pleasant day out.  It’s all fake and it’s there purely for your enjoyment.  It consists of a cable car, suspended from a wire and scaffolding towers;  flatpack mountains;  an artificial stream;  timber picnic tables for you to sit at;  a shed and awning piled high with home made souvenirs of all the places we have visited.  And more.  There’s also a real vending machine, just in case anyone forgot to bring their packed lunch.

This is not quite relational aesthetics, but it’s nothing without the viewer.  It wouldn’t be a day out without you there.

This is as good as it gets.  An armchair tourist fantasy.  A spectacle in irony.  Better than the real thing.  We’ve reclaimed the landscape, made it ours, yours, something to share.

Only it’s raining.

We come together in this project as two British born and educated artists who work in strongly defined fields.  James Avery investigates temporary living accommodation and containment.  Eleanor Avery explores the landscape through intervention and dislocation.  We are interested in ideas, not conclusions.  There are strong links between our practices and we have worked collaboratively on past projects.  We couldn’t realise ‘Our Day Out’ alone.  It’s a collaborative process, a daytrip for two.

The venue for OUR DAY OUT daytripper is still to be confirmed.  Check this space regularly for project developments and updates.

Publication

A 16 page Australia Council assisted publication, with essays by Clare Lewis, Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Lucy Byatt, Director of Spike Island, Bristol, accompanies this project.  A memento of a great day out.

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OUR DAY OUT city limits was the culmination of a three month collaborative residency at Spike Island, Bristol, UK, which formed part of an Australia Council Arts and Craft Strategy supported project for new work. 

A 1960’s family tent forms the body of the installation.  Balanced on top of this shaky iconic structure is a city built from cardboard, fur fabric and vinyl.  Some of these buildings are home-built models collected on daytrips to tourist sights; others are modernist tower blocks made from the discarded packaging of our city’s waste. 

In a desperate effort to maintain the stability of this sprouting city positioned atop it’s precarious structure, it has been propped up and underpinned by a mass of Acro Props and timber batons.

Building upon inappropriate foundations is an act of futility, a desperate attempt to claim the monumentality of the city whilst retaining the temporality of the tent.

A flock of birds has settled on the towers and rooftops, their featherweight forms further threatening to rock the stability of the city.

Publication

A 16 page Australia Council assisted publication, with essays by Clare Lewis, Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Lucy Byatt, Director of Spike Island, Bristol, accompanies this project.  A memento of a great day out.

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OUR DAY OUT yourspace was the outcome of a 5 week studio residency at Artspace, Sydney, Australia in early 2007, and was exhibited in Gallery 2 at Artspace during February/March 2007.

It's a semi participatory excursion through the imagined terrain of space travel and real days out.

A hybrid castle/space module straddles a stranded pier, surrounded by picnic tables for you to sit at and admire the view. A cable car hangs like a satellite above your head. It's a real day out, a sideshow distraction. An excursion in irony. Come along for the ride.

Text and Publications

Artspace will publish a text by a commissioned writer for the biannual Artspace exhibitions publication which will be published later in 2007. Clare Lewis, curatorial assistant at MCA, Sydney and Director of Terminus Projects, has written a text for Runway magazine which will also be published later in 2007. Details of both texts will be added to our website shortly.

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Our installation in the Artbox was based on an early space travel flightdeck.  This new work included a wraparound console wedged between a carpeted floor and a ceiling held up by Acro props. 

You can look through the window, between the colonnaded ceiling props, and participate in the journey of a lifetime.  Beyond the flat-pack flightdeck you can view your destination displayed on a magnified windscreen.  An you can operate your controls via luminated dials on your dashboard.  Our flightdeck is an altarpiece, a testament to old technology, framed and supported by temporary pillars and almost ready for take-off.

This installation continues our exploration of armchair tourism, previously realised in a series of large scale installations.  Our Artbox is a condensed look at a wider world through a focussed portal. 

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James and Eleanor Avery’s Supernova explores the dislocated layers of order and disorder within contemporary culture.  It’s an experimental investigation into our world of excess and visual overload, and how we interpret and attempt to understand it.

A colossal mixed media angulated structure is suspended above a cat’s cradle of steel scaffolding.  Mirrored gold vinyl pulsates on top of a hollow plywood carcass, a giant golden star exploding out of a timber icosahedron.  Suspended from the star’s points are crystal bowls, resplendent in macrame chandeliers.

Across the floor rests a pentagonal garden bench, more often seen circumnavigating a tree.  A perspex five sided beacon rises above, reflecting the forms found within the scaffolding structure.

This scene is a cult fiction set-up.  It’s a journey into the unknown via an intergalactic space trip, cut up with minor cult iconography and retro homecraft technology.

In their collaborations, James and Eleanor use elements of a recurring visual language to build layers and to make parallels and shifts across multiple platforms.  They conflate concerns within contemporary culture with historical notes.  Their current world is hyper-real, a real-time stage set, cluttered with warped realities, where fictitious worlds overtake conscious actuality.

Supernova is a journey across a multi-layered terrain, encountering reality and fiction in mixed measures.  It’s an investigative visual language and an exploration into amateur physics.

Their Supernova will lead the way ‘home’.  You know you want to go there, but are you ready for the ride?

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Forum is a new work completed by James and Eleanor on a 3 month studio residency at The British School at Rome, supported by the Australia Council, during April to July 2008.

This new work references post-Fascist Italian architecture merged with baroque sensibilities and cinematic spatiality.

Forum is currently on show in the entry foyer of The British School at Rome.

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Forum

in TUTTI FRUTTI
The British School at Rome, Italy 2008

FEEDER was constructed specifically for the space at gallery Studio Trisorio in Rome. It consists of a central mirror laminated sculpture and a series of smaller satellite works. FEEDER is a cult group stageset, part sci-fi iconography, part belief system idealogy. It brings together ambitious ideals of discovery and utopian existence, feeding into the prescribed entertainment of contemporary society.

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FEEDER

Studio Trisorio, Rome, Italy 2009

THE GOLD ROOM

Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane, Australia 2013

THE GOLD ROOM makes direct references to popular culture iconography, including design graphics and imagery from the movie The Shining, vinyl record labels and English punk band TenPole Tudor.  These references are mixed up and edged with gold to present a new rereading of the original source.  THE GOLD ROOM presents the power of the icon and how something might gain cult recognition, whilst still retaining a dual reading.  A combination of sculpture and wall works, where gold governs and humour and irony rule.

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James and Eleanor Avery www.ourdayout.org

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