I'll show you mine if you show me yours. On first glance, this kind of reciprocal spirit is not something you'd associate with art galleries. But for Melbourne's Helen Gory Galerie and Sydney's artist-run initiative (ARI) MOP Projects, the challenge is on.
Both spaces have devised an alternative to their exhibition calendars by swapping artists and showcasing works that endeavour to point to the core of each artist’s practice. In Sydney, the show is already underway. Artists include Chris Aerfeldt, whose entire exhibition at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London managed to find a home with renowned collector Charles Saatchi. Also on display are Jacqui Stockdale's photo-realist paintings, Tim Moore's humorous embroideries, Abbey McCulloch's colourless women, Carmel Seymour’s surreal watercolour landscapes,and Lorene Taurerewa’s large-scale charcoal works.
The MOP crew are coming down to Melbourne for the opening of Zooplasty tonight (September 14), with an assembly of eight artists and one collaboration. The name, referring to the practice of grafting animal tissue to humans, is not be taken literally, but rather as part of a wider themes of transference, akin to the gallery exchange project. Unlike the notion of the stagnant commercial galleries 'stable', MOP will be exhibiting a variegated crop, all of whom have been volunteers, committee members and friends of the space.
Artists Emma Thomson, Nana Ohnesorge, Adam Norton, Harriet Body, Nana Ohnesorg and duo Monika Behrens and Rochelle Haley – as well as George Adams, MOP’s director – will be exhibiting. Also included are Drew Bickford's ink drawings of grotesque monsters.
It all makes for an opportunity to expand the dialogue around existing gallery structures, as well as giving us a chance to exercise our eyes with some fresh art, minus the airfare.
Helen Gory Galerie
25 St Edmonds Road, Prahran
(03) 9525 2808
Wed to Sat 11am–5pm, or by appointment