“remove to a different place, put out of the usual place; remove from any position, office, or dignity”
We are all suffering at the moment in one way or another due to the recent changes brought
on by a global pandemic. Some of these changes may be good, others may be bad but we
can all agree that physically, mentally or both… we are not in our usual place.
This body of work in many ways is a by-product of being forced into the digital world. It is a
culmination of both the failures and joys that arise when creating works in the digital realm. It
speaks to a desire to ‘create’ and to continue to ‘create’ in an unknown territory. Working
purely through a screen, devoid of physical hand and touch is the underlying obsession in
Myrrhine Fabricius at The Art Syndicate: uncovering the many layers of digital art
Written by: Constanza Ontiveros Valdés
In her new exhibition, Australian-based artist Myrrhine Fabricius displays a series of colorful and vibrant digitally created fine art prints populated by contrasting geometric forms and organic motifs that bring forth the painterly potential of digital art. The carefully balanced compositions, now on view at The Art Syndicate Gallery´s virtual reality platform, oscillate between figuration and abstraction and strongly relate to the tradition of collage art.
Fabricius b. England, produced most of the ten limited edition fine art prints included in I am here, not here, during lockdown, when she ventured for the first time into the realm of digital art. While at first glance this may seem like a shift from her previous work, characterized by collages made with found materials, or murals, the artist thinks “digitization was a natural progression for her” and relates to her ongoing interest in challenging and expanding the boundaries of her transdisciplinary practice, which alternates between architecture, art, and design. Likewise, her immersion into digital art connects to “her quest for finding something out of nothing.” Here, the artist “uncovered” the creative possibilities of digital art when she found herself isolated in her studio with the only tool she had at hand, her laptop.
Importantly, rather than trying to digitally replicate her previous work, Fabricius developed an entirely new working method for this series in which she manipulated, vectorized, and brought to fragments sourced images and then overlapped layer upon layer of the remaining bits and pieces. Resulting from this process, some of the works in this exhibition, like Bayswater Mews Still Life, Boogie Woogie in Pink, or Fragments are deeply abstract and have a collage-like nature. However, the process of destroying and reinterpreting images also resulted in works with figurative motifs, mainly flowers or faces, that form part of the artist´s vocabulary and which the artist has included in other digitally created prints using different color variations.
Overall, Fabricius’ approach to digital artmaking relates to the recurrent interest that modern and contemporary artists have had in deconstructing, transforming, and reconstructing imagery. Particularly, Gerhard Richter is an important referent for Fabricius, who for years has been inspired by how this renowned artist uses his art as a vehicle for research, expression, reflection, and production and who also admires his confidence to work across a great variety of mediums. In Fabricius’ words, “If there is unknown territory to me, I am going to explore it.”
Next to the intricate process and referents behind this series, the titles that Fabricius granted to her works add yet another layer of meaning to them and frequently evocate an unfinished story or trigger a personal memory. For example, the work titled Roses are red violets are blue connects us to this widely popular rhyme the artist playfully illustrated with an irregular pattern of pink, blue and green flowers constructed with bold and layered traces. Likewise, the distorted blue face outlined in the print titled Covid Face was inspired by graffiti art from the streets of Athens, and makes us remember our own contrasting and life changing experiences with the pandemic. Further revealing this intention, in other works, the artist has replicated this same face in a myriad of color combinations.
At the same time, other works, such as Vessel, also play with the viewer’s perception by creating the illusion of alternating positive and negative spaces, depending on what shape you focus your attention on. In this work, created in yellow and black, if you focus your gaze on the black form you will see a vessel, but if you focus on the background, the profile of a face emerges. This type of composition relates to the works of artists, like M. C. Escher, who constantly challenged the human eye, and also connects to the artist´s obsession of exploring and playing with all the angles of the same image.
Overall, while the works displayed in this exhibition, have a variety of styles and themes, they are linked together by the way they reveal the artist´s mastery of the elements of art and the principles of design and, on a more personal level, they all relate to the mental chatter and the wide array of thoughts and emotions that overlap in our everyday life and that often make us stay away from the present moment…“I am there, not here.”
On view at online, I am there, not here is The Art Syndicate´s first contemporary art exhibition featuring digital art, and is the second virtual exhibition Saxon Strauss, the gallery owner, has put together with software typically used in video games and architectural visualization as a creative response to the repetitive lockdowns Sydney has faced. The fine art prints featured in the exhibition are available and come in numbered and signed limited editions.
Virtual Exhibition is PC/bootcamp/paralells/linux compatible. Unfortunalty not Mac compatible at this point.
You will need 7zip or WinRar to extract the compressed files.