Acme, supporting artists since 1972

Acme Project Space

 

The Acme Project Space ran from June 2009 to December 2015. It provided an opportunity for those artists who are part of our Residency & Awards Programme and our International Residencies Programme with a public space within which to develop projects, show new work and engage in a critical dialogue with a wider audience.

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Helen Johnson

‘Dead Metaphor’ 26.1.2012 - 29.1.2012

 
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
'Dead Metaphor' Helen Johnson at the Acme Project Space. Photo: Acme Studios (2012)
 
 

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Acme International Residencies Programme: Australia Council for the Arts

The dead metaphor is not something that has ceased to be, but something that has been rendered invisible through continuous use, taken as read. The subject matter of each work in this exhibition is derived from a different place and time, but each is connected through a narrative relation to the material on which it is painted. In this way these historical moments are ‘levelled out’ by their materiality. There is no sequential narrative to the arrangement, but a hovering set of traces, perhaps an attempt to imagine an amorphous, non-linear historical approach. No history can give a complete account, and there is possibility in this understanding. Silk is an interesting material to think about in this way, its history taking in a broad spectrum of opulence and monopoly, technological developments and worker revolutions. The simplified imagery painted onto the silk panels references the simple loom; the ornate damask, matelasse and brocade patterns that with the invention of the Jacquard loom began to be mass-produced; illustrations from G A Henty’s children’s storybook on the Luddite rebels who smashed the Jacquard looms that lowered their working conditions; the besser bricks that concurrently emerged as a modernist mass building material; silk couture dresses from a 1985 almanac of Soviet art; and a CERN punchcard, technology derived from the Jacquard loom, that was used to program the first computers.

Helen is the current recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts London studio residency, hosted by Acme Studios. She has presented a number of solo exhibitions both in Australia and overseas, including System Preferences at Sutton Gallery, Melbourne 2011; Universal Remote at Y3K, Melbourne 2011; An Effort of Memory at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. She has also participated in many group exhibitions including Art2: Horsham for the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Victoria; Stick It! Collage in Australian Art – National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; Sutton Gallery at the Auckland Art Fair, New Zealand; Octopus 9: I forget to forget – Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne. She is a PhD candidate at Monash University, Melbourne.
 

 
 

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