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Friday, 2 January 2015

A listening gaze: Paul Martin and Idris Murphy

Edgelands is an exhibition of new work by Paul Martin and Idris Murphy at The Warburton Gallery:

'Idris Murphy and Paul Martin, who exhibit together here for the first time, met in London at the age of 22; they met again in Perth, Western Australia at 65, a meeting which planted the seed for this show. The intervening years were spent painting and making, teaching and learning, seeking an understanding of the nature of nature and a sense of which what Martin has called“the gritty sacredness of places and things” ...

Paul Martin’s most recent exhibition was in part inspired by his reading of Rilke, who wrote that “in order for a Thing to speak to you, you must regard it for a certain time as the only one that exists, as the one and only phenomenon, which through your laborious and exclusive love is now placed at the centre of the universe”. Idris Murphy, in the introduction to his 2013 show Everywhen, quoted the words attributed to the 1st century churchman Ignatius of Antioch: “We each carry our own depth of silence, a human kind of silence, not found anywhere else…silence is a presence, a receptivity, a readiness, a waiting, a listening.” It is perhaps here that Murphy and Martin find their greatest point of convergence, in the understanding that the environmental challenges we face necessitate our developing this readiness and receptivity, this capacity for concentration, for laborious and exclusive love, this ability to regard nature with a steadiness of gaze that we might equate with the aesthetic gaze, and that this, ultimately, might be what constitutes the work of art.'

The works on show are complemented by a series of texts from leading Scottish and Australian writers reflecting on the ecological and environmental challenges we face across the world. This strand of the show is collated and introduced by the renowned novelist and short story writer Tim Winton.

'Here are two painters who’ve learnt to look at natural forms so keenly and humbly that theirs has become, each in their own way, and in separate hemispheres, a listening gaze. Their reverent attention seems to have left them open to the steady returning stare of a creation that groans in travail even as it feeds us. The world we see in their recent work has been transformed and illuminated through their loving attention and in turn, over the decades, as artists, they have clearly been changed.'


Midnight Oil - Dreamworld.

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