Review: WHITE LINE, GREEN WAY-LISA ANDREW

 

Lisa Andrew
White Line, Green Way
Anna Pappas Gallery
 
A modestly scaled exhibition for sure, but there’s a lot to look at in Sydney artist Lisa Andrew’s White Line, Green Way. Dealing with the tricky front ‘cube’ of Anna Pappas Gallery and its enforced interiority, Andrew does a nice job of opening it out.
 
Central to the show, suspended from the ceiling, five panels of semi-transparent interfacing. A regularity of painstakingly cut ellipses creates the look of industrial barrier cloth claimed back by the hand. While positive and negative spaces remain elusive thanks to the nature of the material, the floating geometries are central to giving the show a strongly sculptural presence. But more than that, this set of floating panels becomes a kind of kaleidoscopic device. It’s the core of the room, we walk around it inspecting and, in so doing, activating flickering views and fragments of the accompanying wall pieces and the space itself.
 
On the walls then: a black and white photograph features echoes of the ellipse in the Arcadian balconies of a grand hotel under construction. Classical columns reach skyward waiting to be connected - reinforcing rods branching from their tops. Maybe not so much construction as ruins in reverse. Another wall sees the layerings of the centre-piece, its cloth and shadows, almost made physical with relief geometries cut out of perspex and casting their own shadows. While these geometries suggest the interfacing, closer inspection suggests skulls and crests. In any case this weirdly organic geometry interrupts what you think you’re looking at. Amid the Constructivist impulses and Minimalist references, one way or another comes this imaging of the body.
 And just when you think how tight you are in the experience of this show, around the corner on the outside of the cube is a long, vertical inkjet drawing – tracings of the negative spaces from the interfacing. The 3D of drawing in space brought back to the 2D.
Like each piece in White Line Green Way this drawing is able to stand as a discreet work while fluidly playing off and into the other elements.
 
As some kind of conclusion, I’ll say there appears to be a lightness of touch here, a consideration of how gentle ways of looking might be matched up with more strongly materialist and structured approaches. A multitude of traditionally conflicting orders are brought into play, leaving the viewer to navigate their way through. At times it’s as if we’re actually caught inside the act of drawing itself. Ultimately, the questions being asked of the viewer and the elusive qualities of Lisa Andrew’s project have the effect of pulling us back into the feedback loop of White Line, Green Way.
 
Not a bad place to be.
 
CRAIG EASTON
JUNE 2010
 

By Craig Easton

Craig Easton

Craig Easton is a Melbourne based artist, sometimes lecturer, and very occasional writer.