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John Fries Memorial Prize 2013

An all-star cast of rising stars populate this finalists' round-up.
By Zacha Rosen
August 26, 2013
By Zacha Rosen
August 26, 2013

Sebastian Goldspink certainly gets around. Creative producer at Art Month, curator of last week’s Full Court Press and Director of (literally) underground art space Alaska Projects. Many of the names he’s curated for the John Fries Memorial Prize feel a bit like the usual suspects, as well. But, in this exhibition, that’s turns out to be a good thing. Each artist has something special going. And there are so many to choose from.

Gallery 1 has Samuel Hodge’s Tickets Still Available, which seems to have rounded up a plaid cast bearing cardboard signs that breath homophobia, bible verses and ticketing options. In it's own room to one side, Ella Barclay’s Ebb lays out a micro-scale cloudscape, complete with fog generator and passing cloud light projected on top of it. Spots of water bubble up like hot springs cast away on a high, cloudy plateau.

Lurking in the corner is Sophia Egarchos’ Levels #2 redecorating its wall with abstract lines, replete with energy, and, in Keg de Souza’s living under the stars, you walk — shoeless — into a soft black cave. It pulses with glowing points of light. A relaxing, other space.

In Gallery 2, Aaron Anderson’s Ruin #5 spears a piece of wall with a stark, black curtain rod harpoon, Svetlana Bailey’s beautiful, rocket-like Suburban tower half fades into the mist in 13/11and Liam O’Brian’s Whistling in the Dark cuts between a series of tiny, lo fi, pasted faces to express the epic struggle of an anthropomorphised hand as it tries cross a concrete finish line.

Gallery 3 shows off Benjamin Forster’s Dysgraphia forms lexical order out of chaos and fuzzy chaos out of textual order on a disintegrating, “deconstructed” LCD screen, Serena Bonson’s Wangarra Spirits stands tall, wordless and sympathetic, like a spirit from a Miyazaki film and John A Douglas gives a rainforest the circulatory system it never really needed in the bloody the Visceral Garden.

Image: Sophia Egarchos, Levels #2 (Detail) © Sophia Egarchos/Licensed by Viscopy

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