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  • Writer's picture Natasha Castelijn

Suburban Entrapment - The Exhibition

Art is that which helps you see beauty in the mundane....” - Eric Overby

So very excited to announce that Karen Boshoff and myself will be exhibiting Suburban Entrapment at Gallery DownTown Murwillumbah NSW - 4 December 2020 – 7 February 2021. Gallery DownTown is an annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre and is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. We are both honoured to be accepted by this culturally significant gallery.

Karen Boshoff is what I would definitely call a kindred spirit. I met Karen February 2020, our passion for art and particularly for noticing the ordinary in our environment quickly grew a bond between us that even COVID-19 couldn't keep us apart.

Karen work, Red Tape Riots, is a photographic project capturing suburban elements in a graphic manner. Red Tape Riots began as a 2-year photographic project that exclusively involves the capture of suburban elements in a graphic manner. The vast majority of images taken in this project have been captured on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Frustrated with red-tape, processes and requirements involved in immigration and starting a new life in a new place, took Karen to the streets snapping the “ugly” mistakes of a perfect society trapped in the wonderland that is the Gold Coast suburbia. These mistakes under our feet are generally unseen by the long time residents of the area. They remind one of how a mistake, no matter how small and unintended, can potentially make a black mark affecting the outcome of a process. A splash of paint in error, an and incomplete line, the correction of a road marking, and exposed construction guideline, a missing rumble strip or an unknown council symbol.

Each of these images became the photographic canvas for a rant and recycling of thought processes and questioning related to the red tape and emotions required to live in such a utopia.

My half of the exhibition is Bin Day. Why the bin? I've had a LOT of people ask me this question. Suburban life can be a ritualistic mundane life. The alarm jolts us into action; get the kids up, have breakfast, make lunches, sign notes, rush to work, come home, make dinner, help with homework, repeat.

We are coming and going, rushing down the road of life, going through our many rituals - one of which is putting out the bin. Nothing could be more banal in life than dealing with rubbish.

I explore the repetitive ritual of ‘putting the bin out’ and shine a light on this task, bringing our attention to its undiscovered beauty. 80% of Australians live in the suburbs. The rows of copy-and-paste houses reflect on the reliance on mass production and neighbourly envy - a trap. There is so much I can say about why bins.

I see the way the light hit my bins; there are shapes, tones, and colours. The light changing shape and tone the longer I looked. I saw art in my bins.

When we see art in the ugly or banal - we are not entrapped. Art releases us to enjoy the mundane, the boring, and the ordinary. By seeing art, our souls are lifted from the mundane allowing us to delight in it.

To see more Red Tape Riots go to Karen's Instagram page Better yet come to our exhibition and see for yourself how amazing her photographs are and how many images you recognise and how many are foreign to you even though you have walked on many times. I'd love to hear from you and see if we have made you think differently about Bin Days and road markings.

On Saturday 19th December 2020 Karen and I will present a virtual

Meet the Artists talk, where they will provide insight into our individual artistic practice and this exhibition. This will be available to view on the Gallery DownTown webpage.

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