‘The Gate’ was exhibited in Liam Garstang’s solo show ‘The Shepherd’s Crook‘ in June 2018. ‘The Shepherd’s Crook’ displayed new works by Garstang that sought to harness a spontaneous and emotional response to ‘place’.
“Stone endures; its symbolic permanence is universally understood. In the Earth’s lilt, it can evoke feelings of an ancient eternal, in architecture it can give a sense of institutional history and longevity. It is the marker of death’s passing and the witness to our mourning, the opaque boundary to some perceived afterlife or other life. The series of small, drypoint prints, The Other Side of Stone, spring from place, from being in place, from the artist allowing subconscious memories to flood the body’s gestures. As such, the act of drawing harnesses a multitude of different times, different events. Lines and images are entangled, energies made visible – a cloud becomes a hovering spirit; geographic features transform into a dog, a skull, a spider, a shamanic figure. These works are pareidolic in the same way that Michelangelo worked his materials and found figures in his stone. They are hallucinatory, personally spiritual and the reality of place. The endless, cold darkness within and beyond stone is brought to light”. – Jan Guy
Garstang’s practice is trans-disciplinary, working across sculpture, video, installation, ceramics and printmedia. Through these materials, he finds psychological meeting points between personal, generational, and collective events and iconography. His works are based on both personal and generational events rooted in his family farm in Wagga Wagga, Australia. They reference collective iconography across rural and urban rituals, and excavate an emotional responses to place. A strong sense of the performative also underpins Garstang’s work, which is oriented around notions of presence and the gesture.
For this exhibition, Liam Garstang recorded a video interview in the gallery with George Popov, which you can view below: