The Church Gallery is delighted to be presenting the work of Stuart Elliott at the Depot Gallery, Sydney, following its preview showing in Perth last month. Stuart is one of Western Australia’s most respected contemporary artists, with a professional career spanning more than thirty years. His work is primarily focused on the relationship between nature and technology; he employs the aesthetics of industry and the urban environment to symbolise capitalist excess, while his surreal, fleshy images of the natural world serve to question the relationship between nature and artifice. His two and three-dimensional works display a sense of gothic drama, often offset by dark humour. Over recent years he has concentrated on sculptural installations and representational paintings depicting industrial wastelands and surreal naturescapes. These have been informed by a series of experimental photomontages and short audiovisual works.
In 2005 Stuart received a Creative Development Fellowship from ArtsWA, in recognition of his contribution to contemporary art in Western Australia. His works for the Depot represent the outcome of the first stage of this project. They all focus upon the views from a metaphorical structure, ‘The Causeway’ an “enigmatic, jetty-like structure” representative of societal progress (or lack thereof). He stated, “The nature of actual Causeway is unimportant, the work is about the journey rather than its origin, departure or traveling motivation. Views From The Causeway is mostly about the mind in transit: its montages of fact and conjecture, dark re runs and multiple futures.” The works in this exhibition form part of a larger body of research, incorporating painting, sculptural and installation elements, a graphic novel and large-format digital prints. This will culminate in a major new audiovisual work, to premier in Western Australia in 2007.
Stuart’s work is represented in every major Western Australian collection including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, City of Perth, BankWest, Kerry Stokes, Holmes a Court, University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch and Edith Cowan University Collections, Royal Perth Hospital and countless private collections in addition to the Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum in Taiwan. Stuart has exhibited work throughout Australia, as well as in China, Singapore, The Philippines, Taiwan, England and Scotland, and undertaken residencies in Taiwan, England, Scotland and throughout regional Western Australia. In 2004, Western Australian art critic Dr. David Bromfield published FAKEOLOGY a major monograph contextualising Stuart’s practice over the past three decades. He eloquently summed up Stuart’s career, stating:
This book “celebrates Elliott’s success against the odds, his commitment to the communal, to the value of individual experience and action and his unwavering belief that art making is the form of empowerment that reveals more about the way we are and have been than any other. It also celebrates his conviction that art is, first and always, about objects, materials and making.”
*prices valid 2006