Hackable Animals

Neil Haddon
Robert O’Connor
Megan Walch


62 Argyle Street, Hobart TAS

14 February – 1 March, 2020

Modernism is characterised by artists working in isolation. In the past, artisans would often belong to a guild, rather than working in seclusion. To this end, Haddon, O’Connor and Walch
have formed their own guild: The Painters Guild of Hobart (not to be confused with the Hobart Guild of Painters).

Over the past eight months, the three artists have worked on a series of large-scale paintings, periodically swapping the ten canvases through their studios and responding to what the previous artist had produced. The ten paintings in this exhibition are works in progress. The three artists have orchestrated a collision of approaches; a black hole of content, in an effort to disrupt the preferences and outcomes that each individual artist might habitually make. The three artists gleefully undermine their own haphazard rules, creating disruption and schism that hacks comfortable practice; or the algorithms of artistic predictability. If painting is a form of subjective expression that embodies the agency of the artist (Graw, 2018) then is this medium uniquely humanistic in relation to digital media?

Hackable Animals has challenged each artist with new ways of working and has produced unpredictable content and outcomes: “—a schizophrenic explosion… a monster truck of fuck… a goddamned monstrosity…”

Hobart gallerist, Emma Bett said that the project “captures a burgeoning interest in contemporary painting and comments strongly and progressively on the concerns we all share about the loss of individuality in the digital age. This makes the proposal to mischievously ‘hack’ the predictable outcomes of each artists individual practice even more exciting. Nothing progresses artists further than artistic risk.”

Exhibition Opening:

Friday 14 February @ 6pm

Exhibition runs:

14 February- 1 March, 2020