Brook Andrew & Ross Coulter in Melbourne Now at NGV

Ross Coulter's  10,000 Paper Planes -  Aftermath (1)  was acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in 2012. This work was created during Coulter's Georges Mora Foundation Fellowship residency at the State Library of Victoria in 2011. The large scale photograph will be on display, alongside the other two photographs that resulted from the performance event, as part of the NGV exhibition Melbourne Now from 22 November 2013 until 23 March 2014. Read Senior Curator of Photography, Susan van Wyk's text about the performance and documentary photograph HERE.

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Ross COULTER  10,000 Paper Planes - Aftermath (1)  2011 type C photograph 156 x 200 cm (image and sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased NGV Foundation, 2012 2012.332 (top image) Melbourne Now installation photograph courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria.

Ross COULTER
10,000 Paper Planes - Aftermath (1) 2011
type C photograph
156 x 200 cm (image and sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2012
2012.332
(top image) Melbourne Now installation photograph courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria.

Brook Andrew's work in Melbourne Now is the large scale Vox: Beyond Tasmania, 2013 pictured below.

Brook ANDREW  Vox: Beyond Tasmania  2013. Wood, cardboard, paper, books, colour slides, glass slides, 8mm film, glass, stone, plastic, bone, gelatin silver photographs, metal, feather. 267cm x 370cm x 271cm. Melbourne Now installation photograph, courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria & Tolarno Galleries

Brook ANDREW
Vox: Beyond Tasmania 2013.
Wood, cardboard, paper, books, colour slides, glass slides, 8mm film, glass, stone, plastic, bone, gelatin silver photographs, metal, feather. 267cm x 370cm x 271cm.
Melbourne Now installation photograph, courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria & Tolarno Galleries

Brook Andrew's inclusion in Melbourne Now is a continuation of the artists relationship with The National Gallery of Victoria. Key works by Andrew in the NGV Permanent Collection include Sexy and dangerous 1996; printed 2005, a computer-generated colour transparency on transparent synthetic polymer resin acquired by the gallery with funds from the Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2005 and Polemics, 2000, neon, mirror, transparent synthetic polymer resin, Gift of the artist, 2002.

Brook Andrew was one of three contemporary artists selected for The Barak Commissions in 2011, commissioned by The Felton Bequest to create works that pay homage to the celebrated Wurundjeri artist William Barak. His resulting installation at NGV Australia was, Marks and Witness: A lined crossing in Tribute to William Barak 2011.

"...Marks and Witness uses Wiradjuri designs of zigzag and diamond to represent Barak’s use of possum skin cloak designs of both moieties in his drawings. The zigzag and diamond designs on opposite walls are connected through neon lines to add another dizzying perspective that represents fire and Barak’s strong ideas and understanding of culture." - Brook Andrew 2010

Brook ANDREW  Marks and Witness: A lined crossing in Tribute to William Barak  2011  polyvinyl chrloride, neon, transformer National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton bequest 2011 Installation photograph courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria & Tolarno Galleries

Brook ANDREW
Marks and Witness: A lined crossing in Tribute to William Barak 2011 
polyvinyl chrloride, neon, transformer
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton bequest 2011
Installation photograph courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria & Tolarno Galleries

 

 

Ross Coulter is a finalist in the 2013 Bowness Photography Prize

Ross Coulter is a finalist in this year's Bowness Photography Prize with his photograph "...He walks on water"

Exhibited at the Monash Gallery of Art Friday 4 October - Sunday 3 November 2013

Ross COULTER,  "...He walks on water  ",  2013 from the series  Aussie Jesus  chromogenic print 100.0 x 127.0 cm courtesy of the artist     Artist’s statement: Drawing on what many consider the first direct self-portrait in the western tradition, the series  Aussie Jesus  refers to Albrecht Dürer’s iconic painted self-portrait (1500). The photograph attempts to confront the role of the artist, representations of Jesus and notions of Australian identity.

Ross COULTER, "...He walks on water", 2013
from the series Aussie Jesus
chromogenic print
100.0 x 127.0 cm
courtesy of the artist

 

Artist’s statement:
Drawing on what many consider the first direct self-portrait in the western tradition, the series Aussie Jesus refers to Albrecht Dürer’s iconic painted self-portrait (1500). The photograph attempts to confront the role of the artist, representations of Jesus and notions of Australian identity.

Whirling Dervishes Spiralling Through the Great Vertical

The Ross Coulter viewing at the State Library of Victoria - 4 July 2011

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Last Monday Ross Coulter, the 2010 Georges Mora Foundation Fellow, managed to pin about sixty people obediently to their seats for forty five minutes in total silence. Nobody spoke – not a squeak was heard as we watched the passage of any amount of white paper planes spiral down through the splendid space of the State Library of Victoria’s reading room –one of the great interiors of Australia.

Timing was all. The slowness was mesmerising. The camera – always turning – followed the first planes as they appeared….these seemed to be mostly tentative, venturing out as if they were casing the joint, sniffing the air and listening up while slowly, slowly winding down.

They were followed by a gradual build up of an increase of spiralling planes always graceful, determinedly individual and as the number grew the camera would move - incrementally - further down through the space as if it were stroking the walls and the balconies while the planes flew and somersaulted towards the floor as if they had been co-opted into celebrating the air itself.

Eventually we could start to see the floor where the drifts of landed planes were scattered in such a way as to echo the irregular dashes of white paper on the books lining the walls of the misleading ‘ground’ floor.

The meditative sense of suspension, of time slowing into another measurement and of a feather-light infinite pleasure, came to a halt, leaving the audience to adjust back to grounded, ordinary life and time.

Ross and his Squadron have achieved something of great beauty and resonance. What’s more he is not finished so now we wait for the next stage in this enervescent display of free floating imagination.


Written by: Caroline Williams Mora, 11 July 2011
Photo credit: Ross Coulter

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Ideas in Flight

Ask the 2010 Georges Mora Foundation Fellow, why his 10,000 paper plane project has resonated with so many people and he answers with the same clarity he’s shown in creating the work itself. “There’s a simple poetry to it that everyone can understand”.

Ten thousand paper planes (Nakamura Lock design; glides easily) slowly and delicately descend through the resonant space of the domed Reading Room at the State Library.  Nine cameras record their spiralling descent, including one in the centre which rotates ten times over ten minutes, slowly tilting to reveal the room as each subsequent level releases its paper bounty. 

A room “like a big cranium”, lined with “all those books, all that thinking flying around” is filled with different paper activated by visual–spatial imagination, experiment and teamwork. A huge chamber of thinking in flight. He’s right.  There is a simple poetry to it.

Text by Robyn Winslow

The idea that launched 10,000 planes

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One day, back in the late 90s, artist Ross Coulter was working in the photocopy room at the State Library of Victoria when he had an idea. He folded a piece of discarded photocopy paper into a paper plane, took it to the domed Reading Room and released it into the air currents of magnificent space.

As he watched it float and swirl to the ground, he had no idea that he would one day be coordinating the choreographed release of 10,000 paper planes in the same room, an extraordinary feat of imagination and dedication made possible by the Georges Mora Foundation, Arts Victoria and the State Library of Victoria. But on that day the seed of a great artwork was planted.

Now Ross as the 2010 Georges Mora Foundation Fellow thinks of the Reading Room as a “big cranium full of information, ideas and thinking all flying around in the space”.  That single paper plane all those years ago was an early attempt to represent the concept in physical form.  A development in 2004 while Ross was at art school was the forerunner of the current project. “I had this idea to release 1000 paper planes”. So why 10,000 now?  “I used 2000 planes in another project and realised that it wasn’t enough.”

The final artwork is in two parts: the performance of the plane release on March 14th 2011, and a video taken on the day using 9 cameras, resulting in a multi-screen, unedited view of the planes as they spiral their way through the space.

Asked where the current work fits into his artistic practice, Ross talks about watching two elderly Greek women sitting in a tram, swinging their feet off the ground like children as they watched younger women in their 30s climb on board. And of watching a man on a bridge run backwards while looking forwards, his comb-over standing up in the breeze. This latter image became a video work where the man was sometimes near the back of the frame, or near the front, or occupying the middle ground. 

These ideas arriving from the simultaneous surprise and timelessness of the incidental are recurring themes in Ross’ art: No wonder then that the Reading Room, itself a splendid architectural and social representation of Empire providing scholarly civic space for the people of Melbourne has inspired this delightful happening.

Text by- Robyn Winslow 2011