3rd April 2005
Recent QUT graduate (now Honours student) Simone Jones brought The Graduates together to showcase the contemporary practices of her fellow students, people she knows, works with and understands. It is this intimacy with much of the work that has allowed Jones to curate a show that hangs together better than the usual IMA mish-mash (no offence IMA). Also, its installation in the cosy surrounds of Jan Manton’s gallery in Fish Lane provides a much more ‘comfortable’ experience of the work, with the artists and their friends adding to the general atmosphere of the exhibition, less like a car yard and more like a back yard.
While one Brisbane commentator complained about the lack of painterly work in the IMA version of graduate events, one can only imagine he would be more in his element at Jan Manton Art. There you can find a mass of paint being thrown around, some of it literally, as in Lachlan Glanville’s wall-sized monument to paint application, Untitled (2004). Joe Daws’ intimate landscapes uphold the traditional foundations of painting, while Dan Brock’s Given Tce Paddington with Japanese Skyline (2004) covers the cooler edge of contemporary (landscape) painting and highlights the current convergence of painting with other forms of contemporary cultural production.
The work in this commercial show is just what it is, and while some of the artists are better represented in the show across town, the simple fact is that better art is not always easier to sell. Plans to make this into an annual exercise are however a welcome addition to the options for recent graduates and a commendable venture for a commercial gallery. Beyond this, it affords viewers the chance to see both sides of their practice and decide for themselves what works best.
The Graduates is on show at Jan Manton until 12th March, 2005.