'ONE' BLAK DOT GALLERY
Words - Sheena Colquhoun Photos - J Forsyth
One’ - Blak Dot Gallery, 413 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Last night was ‘One’ the celebration of one year of Blak Dot gallery in Brunswick being open for business. Getting down to the real part of Brunswick, as in Coburg, the Lygon street gallery filled quickly with people ready to celebrate twelve months of success. Balloons greeted you upon entrance and a DJ supplied the soundtrack. Blak Dot gallery is an indigenous run contemporary art space, aiming to promote the diverse work of indigenous cultures from Australia and around the world.
The show itself ranged from photography, painting and drawing, to sculpture video and design. Showcasing a truly diverse and interesting range of different and engaging pieces, the show seemed to be closer to a survey show for the galleries many artists, as opposed to a tightly curated exhibition.
Seeing as there were so many different types of pieces, it was exciting to see and experience all of them as entities unto themselves. Hung from the ceiling and slightly obstructing the free flow through the space was a sculptural wirework, intricately constructed into a boat like form. Following that was a series by a series of small bags made from possum fur. A work that caught my eye was a series of porcelain vessels, white on the outside with delicate geometric patterning, and then different colours on the inside. Somewhere between art and design the beautiful works seemed to fit perfectly in with the spectrum of pieces.
A large-scale photograph of what appeared to be the interior of a derelict building, overrun with both plant life and graffiti captured natural light filtering beautifully through the architecture. Around the corner and to the right we find a silent black and white video, and some small and delicate collage works. Unfortunately the space wasn't particularly dark and the projection did become slightly lost, however the meditative imagery of faces being washed, cropped in close, was beautiful nonetheless.
It was a really positive experience to see gallery that proudly devotes its energy to the promotion and encouragement of work by indigenous Australians. The intrinsically complex relationship between ethnicity and art can be difficult and potentially polemic territory to tread, but equally as important to nurture and understand. The invitation to the show outlined that ‘One’ as a title not only referred to the length of time the gallery has been open, but equally what the gallery is striving towards. ‘One’ is showing at Blak Dot from until the 26th of August.