Arriving at the market, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine were already busy making miniatures with people at the market as part of their work, Out In The Open. The typical Melbourne wind swept along the flatness of the landscape, making the buildings acting as wind turbines. The artists’ found it difficult to maintain control over the tiny objects that people had made, but found, together with their visitors, solutions to the problems. When visited on the second Biennial Lab Walk, the pair told stories of how they met, how they came to make film together, and how they interacted with the market through George, the protagonist in their film.
Field Theory hit the half-way point of their 9000 minutes on radio, starting to look tattered. We visited their temporary dwelling in the Queen Vic Markets precinct, a building which formerly hosted the artists’ initial Lab intensive in June, and they’d strung up their own pulley system showers, had a plethora of fruit and veg to cook, and exhausted faces. Not so exhausted voices. The Australian cooking legend, Peter Russell Clark joined them on their show in the afternoon.
The Mechanics Institute today featured a workshop at their Trade School with Sydney-based artists, Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo, who gave more of a practical workshop on how we place value on objects. The pair’s collaborative practice involves examining and dismantling preconceived notions of value, especially on how we value artistic or creative practice. Within the Trade School context, participants continued well past the two-hour allotted time, creating objects over conversation. The afternoon session saw Frank Giorlando and Lauren Ferris speak around what not-for-profit actually means. When we got there in the morning, the class was deep in conversation, with Kenny Pittock drawing the workshops with intent.
Today was the first day in which the full cycle of the sun became apparent on Steven Rhall’s work, the artist creating a time-lapse of the sculptural intervention. Creating a sense of movement, the work almost echoed the Birrarung (Yarra), with a sense of the fluidity of time passing through it, albeit rigidly. It’s one aspect of the artists work that again brings in the double-bind of Australian history. As the sun set, Kiron Robinson’s carpark neon shone over the asphalt and up into the apartments surrounding it.
- Sarah Werkmeister