As we watch (and help) 30 Upstairs transform with each show it is always exciting to see how the artists respond to the space. From a 5 screen set-up curiosity of Max Bellamy, Regan Gentry’s hanging pumice installation to Shannon Reed’s radio built within a wall- we pass ownership to the artists. How will the work relate to the new environment? Will the conversation and concept have continuity from room to room? It was clear from FUTURE MEMORIES conception that this exhibition would truly embrace the ethos of 30 Upstairs and create something quite special. The former video room had an over haul as Mackie spent the days leading up to the show dismantling the former fixtures to create a painted black installation room. It is this hands-on approach to the space that translates the sincerity of the artists and our intentions to support them.
Tom Mackie and Simon Attwooll’s exhibition, FUTURE MEMORIES, presents three rooms of work which include etchings and manipulated found objects. The duo investigate the potentiality of memory and explore the modes of modern day communication.
Our two featured artists have continued a creative dialogue set forth from their time together at Otago School of Art in Dunedin, New Zealand, where they both specialised in printmaking. Their individual practices have lead them physically on different paths. Mackie lives and works in Wellington and although Attwooll’s roots belong to New Zealand, Melbourne has become his creative home, and the distance is unquestionably an inextricable part of their process. They have exhibited widely throughout New Zealand during their art school days onward and comfortably sit with the success stories of many art graduates educated in Dunedin.
Two highlights from the show are the postcard works. Tom Mackie’s Twelve by Twelve takes over the main wall in Room 2. An assemblage of found postcards that offer not much more than a centimeter border of the original image. The empty rectangles invite the audience to complete the composition, create the story and tell their own tale.
‘By looking back we are able to develop memories in the present day and then construct future memories.’- TM & SA
The pair, in a blacked out room, display a different discourse. Handheld Deliveries is a collection of postcards sent back and forth between their respective ‘homes’ and displayed beneath UV lights. Stamps, finger prints and other markings leave behind a littered language. The two postcard works explore the physical and metaphorical enormity of communication, and the power of documentation to convey journey, distance and space. As we flit between the virtual and the real this show questions the concept of connectedness and the functionality of the communication we use.