Transition is the passage from one form, state, style, or place to another so when I arrived at the exhibition Transitions at Mary Place Gallery I was under the impression I would be viewing work which demonstrated some form of a journey, a progression. This was not the case. However, this is not to say the work wasn't exceptional- the majority of it was- I was just slightly confused as to the theme connecting the 12 artists in the show.
The detail in the work of Patricia Ward is amazing. One would expect the dark and slightly eerie images of bees attaching themselves to a human heart to be gruesome, however it is the complete opposite. Ward's work is both beautiful and fascinating. Nicole Toms oil works have all the moodiness of a Dali painting- without the melting clocks- and the charcoal drawings of crows by David Grainger had me reciting Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven in my head.
The work of Helen Young and Justin Cooper demonstrated a large degree of skill. Both Young's prints and Cooper's drawings give evidence to the talent that both these artist's have, however, the subject matter was a little on the banal side. While beautifully executed, Young's sea-themed prints are mundane while Cooper's overtly sexualised illustrations have an overwhelming feeling of 'it's been done'.
The work of Jacqui Fitzgerald stood out as exceptional. Fitzgerald, a relative newcomer to the Sydney art scene, depicts highly emotive and intrinsically personal scenes that are as haunting as they are beautiful. There is a sadness about the work and a sense of something hidden. Identity is obscured, the body is sheltered in a self concious and almost child- like gesture of withdrawal, of turning into oneself. Anahata is desparate, clingy- like a person grasping for breath. Evidently self portraits (one look at the artist herself is enough to prove this), one can't help but wonder if the work mirrors the inner struggles of the artist. Fitzgerald's work is like a memory supressed, a thought ignored, a feeling you just can't shake.
Perhaps the 'transition' then is not so much conceptual as actual. Perhaps it has less to do with artist's vision and more to do with the viewer.