Alex Seton: Meet Me Under the Dome
Time Out says
If life in 2020 has a been a bit like living under a dome, then this show is the perfect antidote
Sydney artist Alex Seton has a brand new show coming to Zetland’s Sullivan and Strumpf gallery that sounds like it’s all about the Great Lockdown of 2020.
In fact, Meet Me Under the Dome, November 26-December 23, looks a little further backwards, to the loss of Sydney’s Garden Palace in a great conflagration in September 1882. A mixture of huge photography, marble sculptures and digital installations with beguiling sound design with a little help from cellist James Beck and composer Charlie Chan, the show explores themes of home, memory and loss. Something we’re all very familiar with these days.
The centrepiece is a carving of a life-sized figure lying shrouded in cloth, not unlike like the marble figures found in tombs. ‘The Ghost of Wombeyan’ is spooky cool, and uses marble from the Wombeyan quarry, where the score was also recorded onsite. Slightly less eerie is ‘BunBun Contemplates Nostalgia as a Toxic Instinct’, a small-scale sculpture in marble and acrylic of another supine figure, this time his fave childhood rabbit teddy. There’s also a bank of iPads on the walls with a wealth of his digital work on show.
Seton recently became the first Australian to be awarded Asia’s most prestigious contemporary art award, The 2020 Sovereign Asian Art Prize, so he’s super-hot property right now. But he’s not letting it get to his head, sharing his most personal show to date and connecting back to where he grew up.
“We all have unreliable memories and stories from our childhood that shape who we are,” he says. “Playing in the Wombeyan landscape made me into the artist and sculptor I am now. Clambering through the quarry at Wombeyan, seeing nature reclaim the once busy halls, you can’t help but feel the passing of time. Nature, regardless of human activity and the ferocity of bushfires, finds a way, our stories are fleeting.”
Love sculpture? Check out the ancient artefacts at Chau Chak Wing Museum.