The 6th edition of Shotgun was awarded to Nadège Philippe-Janon and Robert O’Connor who undertook individually tailored programs to initiate industry access, stimulate critical engagement and facilitate the development of new work. The following essays are by each artist’s mentor - Nadège Philippe-Janon, Mock Sun by Helen Hughes and Robert O'Connor, Cartographer of the Peripheral Or The détournement of Rob O’Connor by Ashley Crawford.
Mock suns—or sun dogs—are a perceptual phenomenon caused by the combination of sunlight, ice crystals and their refraction at the vantage point of the viewer. They are a natural accident whereby the viewer sees the Earth’s sun multiplied in a horizontal band across the sky—with a mock sun flanking the actual sun at either side. With the sun now in triplicate, one’s regular environment all of a sudden appears otherworldly—like a planet orbited by multiple moons. Perhaps it is for this reason that science-fiction writer and art critic Mark von Schlegell titled his 2005 book Sundogz (part of his System Series), which is set somewhere in the future amongst the moons of Uranus. For von Schlegell knows that the one of the highest achievements of art and science fiction alike is to alter our perception of the world around us, and render its everyday truths a little wobbly.
Hobart-based artist Nadège Philippe-Janon’s work pivots around the exploration of both everyday and more mysterious natural phenomena, which she often seeks to approximate in experiments using projected light and scavenged items that she has stored in her studio. Past works have featured video-mapped projections that have simulated eclipses, the otherworldly glow of phosphorescent jellyfish, and networks of sunlight across rippled water. These immersive environments often feature an absorptive soundtrack and, coupled with moving light, choreograph viewers’ attention by directing it, and their bodies, around the exhibition space.
Helen Hughes - excerpt
IMAGES : Nadège Philippe-Janon from the exhibition Mock Sun, 2017. Photos Peter Angus Robinson and Lucy Parakhina.
Cartographer of the Peripheral
The détournement of Rob O’Connor
“What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?”
“About six inches to the mile,”
“Only six inches!” exclaimed Mein Herr. “We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country on the scale of a mile to the mile!”
– Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.
Cartographer, archeologist, explorer, scavenger, sociologist and resurrectionist. Rob O’Connor is all of these things. His work, like the artist himself, exudes a restless energy and a palpable curiosity. He is fascinated by maps, even when they are composed of detritus, both found and formed by O’Connor himself. He notes that cities are full of unseen histories – sites of trauma, humour, accident, neglect – and he is driven to make these visible. That which many would deride as ‘rubbish’ are grist to O’Connor’s mill. One is reminded of William Gibson’s mantra in his novel Burning Chrome: “...the street finds its own uses for things.”
O’Connor takes to the street wherever he is, from Queens in NYC to Santiago to Melbourne. But in this body of work he takes to Hobart in all its claustrophobic and retroactive wonder. Hobart is besieged by isolation, a small city on an island-state, its denizens form even smaller social and cultural cliques with their own codes and linguistics. O’Connor, like an eccentric private detective in a strange neon-noir mystery, combs the streets seeking clues to some labyrinthine underworld revolving around Brisbane Street where he both lives and works. He is clearly convinced that part of the clue revolves around the Brisbane Hotel, the home of punk rock in Hobart and, as he says, a true time-warp/stuck-in-the-80s pub replete with sticky carpet and an array of potential health problems.
Ashley Crawford - excerpt
IMAGES : Robert O’Connor from the exhibition A rag or a rip, 2017. Photos Peter Angus Robinson and Jack Bett.