Stephen Newton Moreton Is. Installation

Stephen Newton invites you to the opening of his 23rd solo exhibition, Moreton Island:returning to place, an Installation,  at 2pm on the 17th of January, 2015 at Metcalfe Gallery, Brisbane Institute of Art, 41 Grafton Street, Windsor.

The exhibition is in two parts. Gallery 1A will show a selection of works on paper inspired by the north-eastern beaches and the Blue Lagoon of Moreton Island. Gallery 1B will show an installation inspired by the Cape Moreton lighthouse. 

Over many years Newton has explored themes of time and change, engaging in processes of staining, bleaching, burning, erasing and restating, where visual appearances of loss, fading and decay reveal their own aesthetic values. Like the Australian-based, English artist John Wolseley’s approach to landscape, Newtons works on paper attempt to break down the conceptual and physical barriers between artist and landscape, by allowing natural elements to work through various systems of art making. The Moreton Island works on paper are a mix of aerial observations, cartographic markings and a personal symbology exploring a microscopic/macrocosmic duality. Subject matter becomes secondary to the phenomenal experiences of landscape and place, time and change.

Gallery 1B will show an installation comprising of limestone carving, pumice stone, a wardrobe incorporating a locational soundscape, and three plan drawers reconstructed as tables containing large works on paper in the form of thematic maps. The installation titled The Materiality of Memory explores new ways of responding to Moreton Island with particular emphasis on the Cape Moreton lighthouse as a metaphysical axis mundi.  

In 2014 Newton began PhD research with the Australian National Universities Sculpture Workshop, School of Art, in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Canberra. His research project, Provenant Materiality: Returning to Place, asks the question – how do contemporary artists transfer the sensory and material experience of place into tangible objects? A significant aspect of this research explores Newton’s relationship with Moreton Island over the past 20 years and into the future.

This exhibition directly relates to Newton’s PhD, with Gallery 1A presenting works which exist within a pictorial image making paradigm, and Gallery 1B exploring new modes of responding and presenting place which encompass symbolic, material, phenomenological, aural and spatial methodologies.

The exhibition, Moreton Island: Returning to Place, an Installation, will be accompanied by an academic research paper written by the artist. The exhibition is open from the 15 to 27 January, 2015.


Sharon Lee's picture

Hope you have a successful opening, and I am looking forward to seeing this new selection of works and would be very interested to read your research project, Provenant Materiality: Returning to Place, Best wishes, Sharon