Mathew, Marcus and Grace

A Group show

Mathew Simms

Mathew’s small scale landscape paintings and carved wooden doll sculptures give us a glimpse of a time past; where folk stories intersect with Arcadian ideals.

Simplistic, blissful figures play within romantic countrysides, while others pose modestly in rural fantasy. Gentle brushwork and a muted palette softly blends French Impressionism with 19th Century rural Australiana.

Found wooden panels surrounded by hand crafted frames gives not only charm and authenticity, but an insight into the artists simplistic way of Life. Arcadian images reflect an Arcadian artist not concerned with the stresses of modern life; intrinsic pictures are concerned with storytelling over convoluted aesthetic. The wholesome qualities of the subject suggests a yearning for nurturing or longing of an era past.

Mathew Simms works

Marcus Tatton

Using contemporary sculptures as his artistic weapon, Marcus’ wild Tasmanian landscape inspired works are raw and bursting with solitary beauty.

Several jagged sphere pieces hang or are perched proud, a cautionary warning with their aggressive shadows menacing in tow. Primitive utensils, decorative carvings and solid monuments stand together to comment on the human carbon footprint we each leave on the environment.

Like most of the artists works- the form is determined by the concept and the scale is appropriate to the situation.

Marcus Tatton works

Grace Garton

Inspired from vintage photographs, old time sporting heroes and circus sideshow posters, Grace Garton’s eclectic mix of whimsical play things jump forth from the walls and demand attention.

These mixed media grotesque toys for adults are each given their own miniature staged set, the elongated limbs, Neanderthal features and haunted poses on each stylised inbred character is both charming and pleasantly disturbing. Here, a twisted juxtaposition of humour and melancholy potentially conflicts the viewer. Grace utilises this with ease, creating a theatre for forgotten souls.

Garton’s caricatures come from a place of both innocence and experience, intriguingly uncanny at their core. Infused with childhood nostalgia and a bygone era, the theatrical play sets reminds us of the magic and beauty in the unusual.

Grace Garton works

On what can be considered satisfying individual viewing, it becomes clear that the three artists on show have no link to one another and did not curate the show as a collaborative. It is unclear why the tense artists have been interwoven together here, as they differ vastly in both process and practices, as well as motives and artistic outcomes.

Given the depth of Despard’s talent pool, why not, for example, combine Grace Garton’s eccentric sports heroes with Dale Richard’s fantastical painted illusions? Or contrast her innocent sculptural dolls with Micheala Petersfield’s deadly doll parts.

Left: Grace Garton I Wish I Hadn’t Cried So Much 2019
Right: Micheila Petersfield 2019

Similarly, it would be more beneficial for viewers and displaying artists alike to combine Mathew Sim’s earth toned folk tales with Sam Field, or even the vivid surrealistic scapes of Josh Foley.

Left: Mathew Sims The Long Way Home 2016
Centre: Sam Field The milk Eyed and the Milk Made 2018
Right Josh Foley The Gatekeepers Cottage 2016

Or perhaps pair up Marcus with Matthew Harding to combine their spherical sculpture power on the floor. The possibilities are endless.

Left: Marcus Tatton installation 2017
Right: Matthew Harding installation 2011

Ultimately, despite the talent on offer and the pleasure derived from viewing the art works individually, this is a confusingly curated show cruising on autopilot somewhat; content to side with familiarity.

Review by PHANTASM