Calibrating Wonder *

Thu, June 22, 2017 to Sat, July 22, 2017
  • Simon Kohler, Entry Point, 2017, Cloth, Speakers, Electronics, Musical composition, 40 x 34 x 9,4cm
  • Nomfundo Williams, Positive Living, 2017, Nomfundos Bag Velvet material and embroidery thread, 70 x 90cm (Varied dimentions)
  • Brendan Bussy, Lyall Sprong and Tristan Nebe, Conflict, 2017, Steel, cardboard and bicycle hub, 80 x 80 x 50cm
  • Amy Rusch, Giving Time To Plastic Bags I, 2012-2017, Used plastic bags, 50 x 80cm
  • Lyall Sprong, Applause, 2017, Cardboard, Electronics, 80 x 80 x 80cm
  • Lyall Sprong and Amy Rusch, Ubu Mooi, 2017, Cardboard & materials collected from other exhibits, Dimensions variable
  • Marcelle Sprong, Ho’oponopono, 2017, Oil on canvas, 135 x 150cm
  • Daniela Puccini, A look into the ambiguity of being in doubt, 2017, Pen and paper onsite performance
  • Lyall Sprong and Amy Rusch, Fucking Lucky, 2017, Old acrylic paint and a coil or string, 20 x 10 x 10cm

SMITH is thrilled to present Calibrating Wonder, a multimedia, collaborative group show facilitated by Lyall Sprong that addresses the capability of artworks to elicit positive change.

The exhibition is the result of a series of shared activities, workshops and talks amongst a collection of artists and hones in on the idea that material artworks can serve as portals through which change is possible and new possibilities can be accessed. In secular, multi-ideological society, artists are often looked to for existential clues or answers. Artworks, then, have come to play the role of quasi saints in communion with
their audience. Calibrating Wonder presents a collection of mixed media objects made with the intent to offer access to new possibilities. In short, works that aim to be conduits through which we may pass and, perhaps, change. Loosely inspired by the layout of a cathedral or similar sacred headquarters, the gallery is set up to be fully immersive as a contemporary site for the reverence of ideas and the practice of optimism. In this abstracted, fabricated creed, the artworks become its hallowed objects.

The idea of artists as conjurer of such possibilities is most directly explored by Daniella Mooney’s Three New Wands, for which she set about reinventing a beloved childhood relic – a magician’s wand. “This work is a study in personal belief. It draws on a specific moment from my
adolescence where I made myself a wand at the age of 14. I have decided to recreate the piece, revisiting a space of innocent optimism,” says Mooney.

Simon Kohler’s sonic sculpture Mother Tone Reflections - a collection of lithophones or ‘ringing rocks’ is shown alongside music composed entirely from sounds of said rocks – explores our relationship with these ancient instruments over time. “With so little known about the use of rock gongs, this offers a ‘contemporary’, participatory voice to the rocks. It attempts to honour the history and purpose of these sounds and explores how or what meaning or sensation we human beings might still experience through them.”

Lyall Sprong uses inexpensive materials to expand on the exhibition’s central theme.His installation Applause - which hangs head height and alternates between the sound of rain and applause - is a succinct example of the artist’s use of invention and humour
to mesmerize and, by doing so, to clear space for new meaning. “This work is about celebrating humanness in all its awkwardness and relationship with nature. There is also the absurdity of finding yourself with a box on your head but laughing about it nonetheless,” says Sprong.

Amy Rusch’s installation in plastic surveys the transformative effect brought about by choosing to spend time on an otherwise insignificant object. “A plastic bag can be charged and given value through giving it time. The more time spent with this material the more love grows,” says Rusch.

Calibrating Wonder also features works by Stuart Ziegler and a display of foraged and preserved natural foods from botanist Zayaan Khan.

Featured artists : Stuart Ziegler, Marsi van de heuvel, David Plenderleith, Katleho Kano Shoro, Nomfundo Williams, Katleho Kano Shoro, Bonolo Kavula, Marcelle Sprong, Daniella Mooney, Brendon Bussy, Simon Kohler, Daniela Puccini, Tristan Nebe, Zayaan Khan, Amy Rusch, Nic Grobler, Lyall Sprong