Spirit Landscapes

Exhibition Review
Spirit Landscapes, Tracey Moffatt

Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney, September 2013

I like a lot of Tracey Moffatt’s work and have seen quite a lot of it over the years. Some of her more recent works have been mixed and my jury is still out on whether they are great works. In most cases they no longer are photographs as they are mixed media usually based on some photographic manipulations.

I have absolutely nothings against mixed media work, but my first line of interest in the visual art is photography. Good photographic works usually attract my interest. Let me know about a photographic exhibition, and whether it is good or bad or anything else, I am interested in having a look.

Some of Tracey’s earlier work, which were photographs, remain for me as some of her more engaging works. Pet Thang, 1991, and Up in The Sky, 1998, and Laudanum, 1999, remain as my favourites. For me, the layers of experiments that have followed in recent years have not been that successful.

The current exhibition at Roslyn Oxley, Spirit Landscapes 2013, left me wondering. Maybe it was that I had spent the previous day at the 2013 contemporary art fair in Sydney which was a great experience with a full gamut of contemporary practice on show, including some great photography.

I walked away from the exhibition with doubts about the works and so went online to check out other reviews. There seems to be a silence out there with no real reviews or critical analysis taking place of Tracey’s work. Have the Australian visual art critics decided not to express any critical analysis or have opportunities for such reviews been diminished. I was looking to benchmark my thoughts with others, but alas nothing going!

The exhibition was definitely worth the visit. Tracey remains a significant artist and her work deals with a range of personal and political issues. All this remains relevant. Just that I get what she is on about very quickly and then there is no where else to go. Has the work become superficial? Not sure. The jury remains out and the feeling to date is  – hmm! not so good!

Want to see some of the works online? Roslyn Oxley has the whole exhibition online ( a good thing) and there is an overview of the exhibition available on this review site.

Rating: 6/10


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