Fiona Foley creates paintings, installations and photographs that deal with history, identity and personal signification. Her paintings are inspired by the natural environment of her hometown, Hervey Bay in south-east Queensland. She depicts cockatoo feathers, dugong bones, mangrove seed pods and yam leaves. Throughout her career, Foley has engaged issues of indiginous identity on a regional, national and international level, creating a dialogue with artists and communities in Australia, North and South America, Europe and the Pacific basin. In all her work, Foley insists the viewer re-examine historical stereotypes.
In 1987, Fiona Foley was a co-founder of the Boomali Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Sydney. In the ensuing period, she has exhibited in Chile, Bolivia, Japan, Russia, USA, Germany, South Africa and throughout Australia..
Robert Bridgewater's practice is characterised by conceptual agility, formal inventiveness, slowness and a weaving together of various branches of knowledge and poetic association. Concerned with the energy of form in relation to the space in which it interacts, his work shares the minimalist interest in structural formality, geometry, seriality and truth to materials while reflecting on the natural environment and phenomena. He presents us with a reasoned universe, but one which avoids the restrictive logic that defines the man-made and natural worlds in oppositional terms. An openness to natural forms and celebration of the possibilities inherent in the material suffuse his work with organic and sensuous references.
Bridgewater's vocabulary of form and motif allude to the patterns, rhythms and processes of ritual and nature to encompass a myriad of associations from the secular to the sacred. The works recall primal totems and monumental columns where history is wound around the object, displaced and devotional objects, sea creatures and seed pods, the movements of water and wind, archaic instruments, ancient temples, features of the landscape, late Baroque and Rococo architectures, and the body. Bringing together oppositional elements and fusing references to past, present and future enables Bridgewater to map a particular hybrid territory - creating a morphology of space in which form, process, material and reference converge.
Martina Copley, from 'The Architecture of Skin', Robert Bridgewater, exhibition catalogue, Niagara Publishing, 2000.
Please note, the gallery will be closed from 19 December 2003 and re-open on Tuesday 14 January 2004.