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Who: Jae Copp
What: My Illusions Architect
Where: Gorker Gallery, corner Gore and Kerr Streets, Fitzroy, 3065
When: Until 26 September

I have been to Gorker plenty of times, but for Jae Copp’s show the gallery has been transformed into something I had never seen before.

Firstly, the rollerdoors were shut and the lights were dim so the gallery was much darker than it usually is. To complement this ambience, the walls were covered in large patchwork made of sheets of hessian, of various shades of beige and brown.

In the middle of the gallery, a tree was constructed out of a single trunk with branches tied on to it with old and dirty flat rope. It was like I just entered a post-apocalyptic makeshift home. Click here to read about Jae’s installation process.

Hung on the brown patchworked walls were the framed illustrations by Jae. The paper used for the drawings themselves were mostly patchwork too, where bits of paper are joined together with large stitching, then drawn on.

The drawings were stunning. Not only were they quirky enough for my taste, they were also incredibly intricate. Intricacy is something I admire (if its done well, and not just intricate just for intricacy sake) so I spent quite some time staring and squinting at the detailed minute lines and strokes, lines and strokes that could only be made with single hair brushes. If I stood any closer my nose would have pressed up against the glass of the frame.

Much to my liking, the intricate lines are broken up by the odd wash of ink, usually used for the central figures that occupy the drawing. These characters themselves were patchworks of disembodied limbs. Sometimes they had a face, represented by theatre masks and deer heads. Totally creepy, but so imaginitive. I absolutely loved them.

JAE COPP
Come round sometime
Courtesy of Jae Copp

JAE COPP
Light duties
Courtesy of Jae Copp

I picked up a card flyer that provided some background to the series. It reads:

Through this series the artist evokes stories of a non-definitive space in time that reflect a post-apocalptic era as central figures take form to mimic learnings of a bygone civilisation, in pursuit of a redeeming social harmony, respect and understanding for one another and responsibility for the planet they now inhabit. Armed to the teeth with the much needed strength and environmental compassion, his characters begin repairs on the broken in prospects of a new beginning.

I found this story quite compelling and I am dumbfounded by the originality of the illustrations that tell it. Seriously. How do people come up with these things!

The way the entire gallery was set up – with the patchwork walls and constructed tree – it felt like we were these disembodied figures ourselves in a new land, building a new beginning. I love this transformation of space that puts the audience into the story.

JAE COPP
Digging holes in fire
Courtesy of Jae Copp

JAE COPP
Wall drawing at Gorker
Courtesy of Jae Copp

This show is on until 26 September 2010, which is Sunday next week. After this, Gorker Gallery will be closed for the rest of the year. This excellent little exhibition and the fact that its bye bye Gorker for 2010 are two great reasons to go check it out by next Sunday!

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One thought on “My Illusions Architect

  1. Gorker are extending Jae Copp’s ‘My Illusion Architect’ until Sunday September 26. Austins and Six foot six are also putting on a wine tasting tonight (Wednesday 22 Sept) 6pm – 7pm at the gallery! Wohoo.

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