'House Sitting' exhibition at Next Art Gallery

Published 14 February 2007

A 1930s bridge chair incorporating a water feature, nicknamed ‘the gurgler’, will be one of the artworks on show in the first exhibition for 2007 at Southern Cross University’s Next Art Gallery.

Paul Gorman, who is studying a Master of Arts at Southern Cross University, is presenting an exhibition entitled ‘House Sitting’ from February 20 to March 1.

Paul uses a combination of sculpture and photography to create experiences and commentary about home and moving house.

“I am interested in how home and place is portrayed in contemporary art. This selection of artwork features recreated chairs and model bungalow houses. House Sitting does convey a human need to feel at home, and reflects changes, which challenge and transform this sense, as people move and relocate where they live. The ‘gurgler’ sculpture is a type of sea change,” he said.

As part of his research, Paul also considers the effectiveness of sculpture in public spaces, using examples of artworks located in Melbourne and here in Lismore.

“The dilemma for public art is that sculpture will get commissioned or made but often put in the wrong place. I think it is beginning to change, but in the past the art experience hasn’t been factored in,” Paul said.

He says there are a number of works of art in Lismore that have been sited in places, which are now obscured by trees or have limited access.

“Art in public spaces is a growing industry in Australia. In larger cities such as Brisbane and Melbourne there is a percentage of funds set aside from large capital works for art. These percent for art programs are administered by city councils.

“Quite often the sculptures are limited in their effectiveness because they are set into a compromised space, obscured and often not maintained.

“I am looking at the processes of how art works come to be commissioned.

“Art is effective when it is part of planning and maintenance in our built environment. I am conscious of sculpture, and installation arts connection with space, places and time. It has become apparent that the problems that art faces in urban contexts are as complex as the issues of designing shared space.”

Paul Gorman’s exhibition will be officially opened at the Next Art Gallery, Goodman Plaza, on Tuesday, February 20. It will be open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Thursday, until March 1.

Photo: Paul Gorman's Dream Home Water Fountain (the gurgler) will be part of the 'House Sitting' exhibition opening at the Next Art Gallery on February 20.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.