Through her drawing, sculpture and installation works, Fielden investigates notions of the infinite and the infinitesimal, and systems of belief that surround them. In her ongoing exploration of these themes, Fielden works through materials such as black pigment, hand-crushed ferrite, magnets and ink on paper, in such a way that materiality is a metaphor for matter at its most minute.
Mapping the Void is a site specific installation filling one end of the space. Tiny mountains formed from smashed ferrite magnets and black pigment emerge from the floor and are invisibly connected to lines of thread drawn from above.
The series of work titled Dark Matter is concerned with tracing that which cannot be seen. The artist arranges magnets in grid formations upon which she scatters particles of black iron oxide pigment. Through this act of covering, an invisible magnetic field is brought to light, its pattern, form and dimension revealed.
Fielden’s repetitively handwritten text drawings, made in the studio, often over long periods of time, engage with ideas of prayer, devotional acts, obsession, longing and awe. In her work Infinite, Fielden draws on the Christian origin of the triptych, supposing that it is awe and a fear of the infinite that brought humanity to create systems of religious faith. Each drawing is a decimal expression of one third, an infinitely repeating decimal. They are starscapes, white noise, an abyss. Relics is a series of drawings where Catholic prayers are scribed by hand in dogmatic repetition, overwritten until they can no longer be read. They are at once blind faith, a palimpsest and an act of erasure. Zero and Nothing is a pair of drawings, infinity’s twin, words repeated and meditated on, form emerging, mapping the void.
Vibrant Matter is Julian Day’s first solo show with Dominik Mersch Gallery, following his recent successes in NEW16 at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne and the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.
Vibrant Matter presents a series of monoliths that embrace the concept of ‘vibrant matter’ as outlined by theorist Jane Bennett. This is a way of considering otherwise inert material to be animated despite its distance from human intervention. This translates here into austere monochromes that shift between stasis and movement as hidden subsonic speakers articulate the works’ surfaces with surging and subsiding energy; a literal visualisation of sound.
Day’s work encompasses sculpture, installation, performances and video, combining his twin backgrounds in music and art. Earlier works such as Requiem and Two Strong Hearts (both exhibited in 2013 at Dominik Mersch Gallery) paired musical instruments such as vintage synthesizers or metronomes to speak to the idealisms and compromises of human relationships. Over the past year Day has pushed into more abstract territory, creating works that deal more directly with vibration, energy and transmission. These new works imbue basic art materials – blank paper, plywood sheets, primed canvases – with uncanny liveliness.
Julian Day has presented work in New York, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, The Hague, Berlin, Prague and throughout Australia. He has won several major awards including the ARTAND Credit Suisse Contemporary Art Award, an Australia Council Creative Australia Fellowship, Aesthetica Art Prize (finalist), Dominik Mersch Gallery Award, Willoughby Sculpture Prize (emerging) and the 2015 Fauvette Loureiro Artists Memorial Travelling Scholarship to travel to New York, London and Berlin. His work was recently acquired by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and will feature in Collection Volume Two from late August.
At the opening Day will also launch his debut album White On White on the esteemed label Room 40/A Guide To Saints, which will be available to purchase at the gallery.