The highly anticipated debut show of THE JOHN HOUR collective opens at the Ada Street Gallery on the 8th of September.
Installation artist, Emma Gibson, deals with intimate psychological themes using explicitly materialistic techniques, giving rise to a physical and mental space that quietly pulls apart everyday notions of self and society. Gibson’s incredibly rich installation work is built from layer upon layer of common social signifiers, periodically interrupted by the sentimental, the horrific or the otherwise wholly peculiar. These elements eerily function together to lure the viewer into an initial sense of familiarity that gets quickly turned in on itself, throwing up questions of sanity, identity, morality and the self.
To walk into an Emily Pugh installation is to enter into an absorbing theatre of fine art constructions born from the excess and surplus of modern living. Pugh’s main material fascination is urban waste, which she animates into something exquisitely aesthetic, while retaining something of the pensive or derelict materiality of its origins. Exploiting the processes of highly decorative fine art and craft-based practices, the materials of Pugh’s large-scale structures subtly shrug off the constraints of their original purpose and take on a more complex and dialectic life of their own.
Raven Smith’s performance-based photographs train a sharp eye on themes of identity, vanity, myth making and notions of the ideal. Smith’s work is both elegant and irrational—fundamentally stripping down complex notions of how we build our own image in the face of our personal and collective histories or myths. Smith catalogues his decisive misbehaviors with clarity and humour, investigating the relationship between the self, behavior and the role of the absurd in deconstructing latent notions of immortality or the immutability of established values and norms.
Producing a body of work which is whimsical yet sinister; familiar yet alien, the three emerging artists—Emma Gibson, Emily Pugh and Raven Smith—functioning collectively under the moniker, The John Hour, continue to investigate and challenge the universally understood rules for a coherent modern society. With photography, set design and installation as their combined media, the trio rigorously explore personal and universal reactions to the construction of the world we live in. In the first of a series of interrogative exhibitions, society’s codes of conduct are examined, as are the values attributed to our individual and collective actions. Ada Street Gallery