Friday 24th October 2014 at 1.00pm
Scott Sutherland building Lecture Theatre SB42
James and Eleanor Avery have been collaborating on large scale sculpture and installation projects, including commissioned public art projects, since 2004. They work between Brisbane, Australia and London, UK and many of their works develop out of international studio residencies.
James and Eleanor’s early collaborations evolved in a number of formats under the banner of OUR DAY OUT. Many of these projects were realised during studio residencies where they presented the idea of a semi-participatory excursion through the various forms and formats of a day sightseeing. Since 2008, the Averys’ have dropped the OUR DAY OUT prefix as their work has developed in new directions, however, it still remains closely connected to the original concept.
James and Eleanor’s collaborative practice draws on historical references and events which are reinterpreted and reformulated with contemporary iconography to give a new rereading of the original source. Their works often reference cult ideology and divergent belief systems, where they are interested in the overriding seduction of power and irony within these structures. They make works which are ambitious in scale and often indicate an underlying system of meaning. The Averys’ practice is embedded with historical references and political observation, drawing on such diverse subject matter as the Bayeux tapestry, cold war aircraft and totemic pagan symbolism. Their installations frequently suggest a social space for audience participation but are generally non-functional and inaccessible.
James and Eleanor’s work often begins with an exploration of historical sites and events, which are reinterpreted and reformulated with contemporary pop culture references. They are interested in the notion of the ‘day trip’ to sites of specific interest and their work frequently positions reworked points in history, often minor events or insignificant figures, within a framework of contemporary popular media and design imagery. The Averys’ collaborative practice takes an irreverent view of history and conspires to re-present a particular view in an ironic and conspiratorial fashion. Their work remains strongly collaborative, it’s a daytrip for two.
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