September 27 - November 14, 2012
Nina Canell's art might be described as a kind of modern alchemy, as much of it is about transformation and a search for deeper, more unified, beauty; her experimental artistic practice is characterised by poetry, whimsy, and humour, but most of all it is about trying to imagine and articulate what is commonly beyond our sight.
The work in this exhibition is about air, its stuff and substance, as well as all that moves in it, such as waves, particles, sounds, and seeds. At its heart is a sealed jar containing, we are told, 3,800 ml of air from the St. Petersburg study of Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist who discovered a way of classifying the elements after drifting into a reverie at his desk. Another piece in the show came into existence after the artist spent some time idly and rhythmically spitting out watermelon seeds. Other works developed of their own accord once physical processes were set in motion; the colour of copper pipes changed after heat was applied to them, glass was bent and shaped by flame. Material things are subjected to elusive or capricious operations that change or affect them; sometimes they remain separate but entangled, but just as often they dissolve into one other.
Nina Canell has exhibited widely around the world, most recently at Cubitt Gallery, London and at this year's Sydney Biennale. A new publication accompanies this exhibition.