Quiet Australians, 2019, 4 x Audio works, stereo, continuous duration
Four stereo audio works presented in single headphones are presented for audience to interact with on a personal level. Each audio is comprised of shouted sound bites taken from then Prime Minister Scott Morrison from his 2019 election campaign. The title alludes to a common dog-whistle adage that when mentioned, sanctions a cultural stance simply because it aligns with those that feel invisible, unheard and unrepresented. Morrison used this term prior to the election stating "Too many of us have been quiet for too long and it's time to speak up", and "To those quiet Australians who are out there, now is not the time to turn back".
Remnants: False Impressions of Time & Space, 1 FEBRUARY 2019 - 23 FEBRUARY 2019
Stephen Armitstead explores the memory of site and the notion of imbedded presence with a series of new works for Remnants: false impressions of time & space. Utilising photography, video, installation and ceramics Armitstead responds to architectural features of the Cool Change Contemporary gallery space as well as sites of the the artist’s past exhibitions (gallery)
False Window, 2019, Flour, recycled building materials, dimensions variable
False Window is a perpendicular extension or version of a part of Gallery 3 in CoolChange Contemporary. The segment of wall is made of compressed flour, and references the ‘white space’ whilst also linking its being to the nature of a false window - something that can no longer be used to look through, or be seen through.
Bags of light (1 - 3), 2019, Digital print on cotton rag paper (50 x 70cm), remnants, 5 x 6 inch sleeve
Prior to CoolChange Contemporary becoming a gallery, I documented the ceilings of each space and previous light fittings, these were in turn etched over contemporary images of the transformed gallery ceilings, now containing art space appropriate rigs. The title ‘bags of light’ is an additional reference to the nature of the photographic process.
False Door, 2017, Wood, compressed flour, 126cm x 80cm x 110cm
False Door is a perpendicular reflection of an existing door in the FELTspace Back Gallery. The door is made of compressed flour, a medium used for its practicality and references to the ‘white space’. It also holds layers of connection to our society and its basic connections to human life. (read more)
Descendant, 2017, Balloons, string, paper tags, multiple channel audio,
vacuum seal packaging, dimensions variable
Descendant is comprised of floating white balloons that translate, via multiple track audio and transducer speaker, first speeches by senators of the 45th Australian Parliament. Trapped by the ceiling these vessels, over the days of an exhibition, gradually descend to (perhaps) find a resting place on the floor. Descendant has been shown in a variety of formats including on mass, in context (Adelaide) and as remnants.
Descendant, FELTspace Adelaide
Descendant, City Arts Space, Perth
Tidal Exposure: A third action, 2017, FAC Residency, 3 Channel HD Video (excerpt)
Tidal Exposure is a 5 m long unprocessed photographic mural print, created off the NSW coast in the mid 1990’s. This 20+ years old object is still developing and changing within its original tarpaulin wrapping. The excerpt shows a purpose built 6 meter table filmed from above, on which Tidal Exposure is unrolled and one side is shown. In the full documentation, both sides are revealed and the artist engages with audience as he cleans and reseeds the work with local water and sand, before re-wrapping for storage and continuation of the photographic process.
Man O’ War, 2017, wood, carbon, resin, dimensions variable
Seven tripod structures are installed within the gallery space, each bristling 3 sharpened and burnt points towards the ceiling, the white wall and the audience. En masse, the objects form a wall that inverts the message of a battlement constructed to protect. These structures carry the notion of perpetual fear for the viewer.
White Wash, 2017, flour, wood, acrylic paint, 80cm x 200cm x 90cm
"White Wash" consists of an alphabet of skin toned letter stamps, next to a whiteboard made of compressed flour. The audience is encouraged to make words and leave messages for others. The work was the third part of a collection of pieces made for Ordered Collapse at City Arts Space in Perth. (catalogue essay)
What I need, 2015, Digital Print, 56cm x 100cm
Over a series of months the artist observed a portion of land that was being cleared and prepared for new housing. Concurrently he collected discarded lists from shopping centers and other sources. The found lists were then rephotographed and inserted over the freshly prepared lots for new houses.
64 bits, 2014, single channel video, short throw projector, 64 mirrors, wood, dimensions variable
The work is a rumination on Michael Snow's Wavelength. A 2 minute loop of video shot at Rottnest Island of light reflecting on the surface of waves forms the source video - the camera CCD, overloaded, created a glitchy image. This video is then diffracted and concentrated onto one spot in the corner ceiling of the gallery space. The subject matter exceeds the capacity of the work to carry the form.