Curated by Paul Zika & Seán Kelly

Plimsoll Gallery

Centre for the Arts

Hunter Street, Hobart

Exhibition 4-25 April 2008

Ciara Moore, Leigh Hobba, Daniel von Sturmer and Martin Walch

Foreword: Sean Kelly, Essay: Jeff Malpas

32 page catalogue: ISBN 978 1 86295 448 9

Download PDF: Repetitions Catalogue

Introduction by Sean Kelly from Catalogue

The genesis of this exhibition is the developing exchange residency between the University of Tasmania School of Art in Hobart and the National Sculpture Factory in Ireland. 2008 marks the first year of the project with the arrival of Irish artist in residence, Ciara Moore. The initial desire to present the work of the resident artist provided the challenge to explore the notion of investigation of place that is at the heart of any international residency. The curators considered that this primary brief could be further articulated and explored by selecting a group of Australian artists whose work reflected similar concerns. Investigation of place inevitably involves the growing understanding of the self in that place and this is as true for the recent arrival as it is for those already established here. Measuring, recording, tracking, naming – these are all methods and systems of the explorer and they combine in a variety of ways in the construction of a layered unfolding of those features which define one place from another – at the same time they seek to familiarise the experience by locating it through objective instruments of record, common to all investigations. But the specific record takes on a character of its own as the picture unfolds and the specifics of one place emerge as distinct through the balance of that data, as much as through the raw sensual experience of a place. The naming of places so elegantly revealed through Martin Walch’s work allows other meanings to emerge – the record itself is revelatory. Hobba places his camera in an unfamiliar city and allows the life of his immediate environment to flow in through the lens; Moore’s visits to both familiar and alien environments provide a more emotionally charged response based on narratives and encounters with the unfamiliar; while von Sturmer reminds us that at the heart of any investigation is raw method, the measure, quite literally expressed, but also of the space and time of process – connecting with the ‘rhythms’ that Jeff Malpas refers to in his excellent catalogue essay accompanying this show. Even with the same instruments and the same itinerary, the outcome of each person’s experience of any place will be different. The point at which one enters, and the rationale for that chosen entry point, will be of enormous significance. It leads the explorer in but the rate and nature of the journey is determined as much by what unfolds in its progress that could not be foreseen as by that which is preplanned. What the artist/explorer brings with them will be grafted onto or overlain on that experience and the myriad surprises and shocks of those unforeseen encounters will all combine to provide uniqueness to that ‘traverse’. It is this difference that excites both the artist and the viewer – how common is their experience to what we, the receiver might know? – and of course, and more compellingly perhaps, how different is it? We then take on board these new layers which the artist, as the explorer, has gone out and sought, reflected on and recorded, or expressed for us who await the revelation of what they bring back as traces of that journey. The sum of these experiences then becomes vicariously our own, and adds to our understanding of, and feeling for a place. I would like to extend thanks to co-curator Paul Zika, the artists who have all taken on this project at busy times in their lives, Professor Jeff Malpas who provided both the catalogue essay, and also a valuable engagement with the artists and curators in the development of the exhibition – providing valuable insights and necessary conceptual rigour when it was most needed, the University of Tasmania School of Art for supporting the residency and the exhibition opportunity, and the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Ireland, the Irish Arts Council and Culture Ireland who, through their funding support, have made Ciara Moore’s presence here possible. Seán Kelly