the dark arts

The Art Gallery of South Australia's 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is titled 'Dark Heart'. There's some fine work to be seen here, including Alex Seton's excellent, Someone died trying to have a life like mine, and the dazzling, Yarrkalpa (Hunting ground), by Kumpaya Girgirba et al.

I am, however, not particularly engaged by many of the works in Dark Heart. There's something unsubtle about them. Dark palettes, memento mori, ghostly figures, and taxidermied creatures seem clumsy if not clichéd.

It's been suggested that I should consider producing 'darker' images. I'm bemused by this. The series, Hikari 505, for example, depicts a rapid transition from natural to human dominated landscapes. This is about the demise of the natural world which underpins human endeavour. Absent dark colours or cartoonesque clichés this series depicts colossal loss, and is unequivocally 'dark'.

What should be expected from an exhibition titled Dark Heart? For me, it's something less than the obvious. But do get along to the exhibition if you can—there are more than a handful of works well worth viewing.

Meanwhile, please consider one of my 'dark' images...

 Mannequins, Sydney 2011

Mannequins, Sydney 2011