Curated by Lisa Jones and Tom Loveday
Geometry is an open ended series of artist led exhibitions in which a group elects to respond to a a brief, take part in collective processes and in discussions both before and after the exhibition.
The purpose of the approach and its process is to produce a coherent body of work as well as to open questions of art practice. In particular and while the isolated creative artist has long since been theoretically challenged, many artists remain bound to a gallery system that insists on sovereign individual production as the basis for their art practice. The result is that the idea of a "movement" in art making has been replaced by the curatorial essay. However, instead of attempting to revive a nostalgic vision of the early 20th century, we are attempting to find new ways for artists to form collectives and to produce work as part of a common artist position. While this hardly creates to new movements in art, it might lead to a more valuable and collective future in art practice.
May Space 2019
Square began with a group of artists coordinated by Lisa Jones with my assistance in working out the ideas and writing texts. Its foundation is an aesthetic platform or “Standard” (from music in particular, Jazz) upon which each artist improvises. Square artists:
Each artist was asked to use four 40 x 40 cm timber panels as a platform upon which to develop their individual art practice. There are effectively no limits on how the panels are used. The artists have used a range of two- and three-dimensional approaches, colour, texture, construction and reduction. The artists have met regularly to develop possible directions and exchange ideas in a collaborative, conversational approach or to use a term from music; as an improvisation.
I made four “primary” coloured panels using the layout and proportions of Kasmir Malevich’s Black Square but with thermo-chromic paint. The intention is that the gallery visitors can transgress one of the fundamental rules of art not to touch the work. Touching the panels changes their colour, leaving evidence of the touching - evidence that fades back to the original colour in a few minutes. I also made three videos use footage from Sydney trains.
The Square catalogue can be found at https://www.academia.edu/40505072/Square_Catalogue
Tom Loveday, Train H3, 2019, sample video.
Tom Loveday, Train H2, 2019, sample video.
Tom Loveday, Train H1, 2019, sample video.
Five Walls, 2022
Square 2 is the second is a series of geometry-based group exhibitions curated as an artist led exhibition by Lisa Jones and Tom Loveday. This series of exhibitions uses a modernist approach to collaborative exhibitions, including an artist brief, group discussions of the work during its making and a theoretical essay in the catalogue. While the works are produced under the general curatorial premise of art about art, all of the works connect to and offer the interests of individual artists.
Square 2 artists:
The Square 2 catalogue can be found at https://www.academia.edu/49678081/Square_2_Catalogue
Wollongong Art Gallery 2023
Tom Loveday 2023
Round is the third in a series of exhibitions in which artists respond collaboratively to a brief. Each of the three artist-led exhibitions involves a collective approach, with discussion among the artists. The brief is a simple description of materials or, in the case of Round, a single word; as a starting point for improvisation, much like live jazz performance yet developed within art practice.
There are so many ways that the term round can be interpreted, including the obvious forms of curved geometry but also the less obvious linguistic complexities, figures of speech, metaphors and linguistic quirks and confusions. Despite its multivalent meaning, or perhaps because of it, round has become an oddly amplified word in English. Below is a list of just a few of the ways that the meaning of “round” expands, diversifies and becomes confused:
Circle, spiral, helix, spherical or simply curved or with rounded corners – not rectilinear.
As roundness, fullness, completeness – and, like many words, it implies its opposite, incompleteness, as in “rounded up or down,” “rounded off,” or “round about.”
As around, ‘round or around and the limits of meaning – or simply round about as nearby. The abbreviation or “around” to “‘round” has led to a merging of meaning and loss of clarity.
As a return (or eternal return) – cycling, revolving or coming back as in “rounding on” someone of something. This meaning is often forgotten in dictionaries.
Rondo or round in music – harmony and dis-harmony. The return to the beginning or “coda.”
The rounded visual pun or joke, such as “Portable Hole” (McKimson) and the meaning of geometric round in popular culture, such as well-rounded, bloated perhaps or “globalised.”
Philosophical and art theoretical terms that allude to round either specifically or in some abstract sense such as , and other theoretical approaches to popular culture and language.
Round (or around) the bend – madness, beyond the limits of normality, acceptability or sensibility.
Merry-go-round, motion, repetition and difference and nausea similar to round as a return.
Of course, there are many others too numerous to list here and yet the most obvious use of Round is to think of it as symbolically curved and coded as a metaphor – the very planet we all live on. Moving in a circle which is to say around a planet as it rotates might seem like standing still but it is actually motion that is constantly changing and indeed returning the motion to where it began. And so, the curved plane of motion of constantly accelerating orbiting objects can itself be considered a dynamic ground plane where the fundamental elements of geometry are different to those of the imaginary flat plane found in the X, Y and Z of three dimensions. The curved plane is a limit to our existence in the form of the curved terrestrial horizon. To make art that embodies roundness either in a prosaic or a figurative way (or indeed both) is to make a work within the terrestrial ground plane. Why is this important? Because it embodies a sustainable form of thought – one that might help us.
It is perhaps needless to say that each of the artists in Round approaches roundness in a different way yet that difference is part of the way that the collective exhibition paradoxically also exhibits its unity. Before noting each artist’s work, I want to mention that since the art and art writing of the mid 20th century, it is no longer tenable for artists to propose that their work means what they claim it should or could mean. Artistic genius is no longer vested in the expression of prosaic meaning but instead is founded in the creation of aesthetic affect allowing the viewers to, as the theorists say, “complete” the work by discussing it. Art thereby returns to the collective and creates value for its community.
Tom Loveday, The World As I See It, 2023, video sample