Artist Index


FERRET 2 opens Friday 2 February 6-8pm

FERRET 2 will be open 11 - 5pm Friday  2 February till Sunday 4 February. 

FERRET 2 will show the work of Linden Braye, Angus Callander, Sue Callanan, Lily Cummins, Michele Elliot, Laine Hogarty, Fiona Kemp, Raymond Matthews, Sarah Newall, Opie, Anya Pesce, Deborah Prior, Ambrose Reisch, Elizabeth Rankin, Margaret Roberts, Tamsin SalehianKat Sawyer, Kate Scott, Lisa Sharp, Anke Stäcker and Emma Wise. 

FERRET 2 is the second part FERRET, a 5-week, 60-artist project open from 26 January till 25 February.

Tamsin Salehian

Anya Pesce

Raymond Matthew Bending of Light 2018

left: Lisa Sharp; right: Opie

Sue Callanan Filling the Cavity of Time. (2018)


A busyness of ferrets - Lisa Sharp

A busyness of ferrets

Dear Ferret artist… the missive into my inbox began …

So issued an invitation to exhibit in a way that was, well, with all due respect to the creature, ferrety. The FERRET exhibition encompasses a group of 50-60 artists. Apparently, the correct collective noun is a business of ferrets, but better still is the medieval busyness of ferrets. It’s appropriate as this exhibition brief is for the ferret artist to, like the animal, ferret-out a space and then make a work within it or alternatively, to take an existing work into the space and in the process of installing it, respond not only to the architectural site itself but also to a busy cyclical progression of artists and works moving around – both behaviours analogous to nesting within a communal ecosystem. FERRET 1 (26 – 28 January) shares the site briefly with FERRET 2 (26 - 28 January), then FERRET 2 and 3 mingle (2 – 4 February), and so on, until the final FERRET 5. Five consecutive Friday openings between 26 January and 23 February will provide five focal points of convergence between the various groups. In between openings, artists and works will come and go, like a tide receding and returning with new offerings. Similarly, for visitors, your experience of the exhibition will either be of a singular fragment in chronological time, or if you return provide an embodied experience in which memories of prior works will become overlaid with experiences of new ones.

Articulate project space provides a unique and ideal site for this progressive exhibition project. In its conversion into a white-walled gallery space the architectural relics of its industrial past have been left intact, even peeled back further, with beams, rafters and brickwork exposed and co-mingling with its current use. This palimpsest history provides nooks and crannies and almost guarantees unplanned and chance juxtapositions between site and works, and also between works. Articulate describes the FERRET progressive exhibition as a dance, and from the first meeting of Ferret artists there certainly was the sense of an orchestrated sequence of interactions as we selected, vied, argued, bargained and collaborated on the spaces we were to successively occupy.

FERRET has had some earlier incarnations. In a random, yet consistently furry play upon titling, the same exhibition concept was staged as FAIR ISLE (2014), followed by FERAL (2015). To FAIR ISLE is to knit while shouting, and there are a number of works that play upon and subvert notions of traditionally feminine and textile-related crafting in some way. By the front door is Anya Pesce’s Large Diagonal Fold revisited, a digital print on chiffon. It is stretched somewhat unnaturally across the wall, like a dress pulled taut. This tensile action emphasizes the hard horizontal edge of the image within, a red fold. It is an image of one of Pesce’s Fantastik plastik works, making a work that is an image of another work. It references softness and drapery as ambiguously as it does hard-edged abstraction. In another geometric abstraction overhead, Angus Callander’s Canopy consists of lengths of decorator cotton fabric, looped between exposed ceiling rafters, strikingly and minimally presenting the red/ green/black stripes as a counterpoint to the hardwood structural elements and driven nails that support its suspension.

An unstated thematic of transgressive domesticity[i] continues. Further along on the ground floor, Michele Eliot’s work, one and another features a pair of brown-toned tartan handkerchiefs, familiar, ordinary and a staple garment of the houselhold laundry and iron. In what could be interpreted as a twist upon Kosuth’s well known One and Three Chairs, here the representation is direct, omitting the dictionary text and returning simply to the skill-based: a mimetic wall drawing alongside its subject-object. Eliot charmingly describes her work as a small digression in cloth, portraiture, intimacy and abstraction[ii]. The digression continues from hanky to blanky with Deborah Prior’s Long Sleep #1. Here the abstraction inherent in the pastel tartans of another domestic familiar, a found woollen blanket, is precisely cut, pinned and partly wound on the floor in a work that comfortably describes “the imperfect geometry of being human.”

Meanwhile, at the back of the room and occupying the corner window alcove diagonally opposite to Pesce is a work that reactivates and revisits the red fold. Anke Stäcker’s work Nach Uns is also a digital print, this time on plastic, an enlarged image of folds within folds of pink and red plastic – trapping the crumpled, disposable media in a backlit image that vacillates between the bodily and the manufactured.
Where this group of works just described softly deconstruct the material, Diane McCarthy’s mixed media works upstairs take the tactile, experiential and the textile, (including a powerfully bunched and coiled calico) back into the formal with a rectilinear triptych-on-the-wall presentation.

The use of fluorescent light spills from and unites Martin Langthorne and Tim Corne’s collaboration, Colour Score and Star Grid, facing each other on the ground floor. From across the narrow room Langthorne’s motif of vertical bands of coloured light are trapped and projected anew by Corne’s layered and reflective rectangle of scrim and film, creating a light-changing shimmering curtain for the punctured constellation, the punched holes within the fabric. A relationship between another pair of artists[iii] is referenced and presented here as a collusion of coloured light falling upon and around the constellation of circular voids.

Across and upstairs, systematic patterning is repeated in other works. As an organic clustering – my own work Inarticulations is a grouping of container-like objects - paintless paintings huddling beside and from exposed timber beams, deliberately avoiding the usual frontal and eye-line placement of painting. Directly above and visible as an echo through the unlined rafters is _____Hours, a spreading net of folded, shaped and taped White Pages: Business and Government by black3y3dpeac3, a pseudonym used by artist Mel Baveas. The data within her work is physically compressed, hidden and transformed within the hive-like construction atop the dividing wall. Both these works appear likely to spread and increase over the course of their occupation.

The liminal boundary of spatial enclosure is defined again with Catriona Stanton’s The line between Us, a series of primary-coloured containers of air that scale the stairs.[iv] These porous containers are made from fencing wire, employed not to delineate boundaries (as fences do) but rather as objects to enfold space. Space as claustrophobic confinement is addressed in Kat Sawyer’s Pairs, digital prints that depict parts of human bodies fleshly morphed and somehow unfamiliar while in the process of fitting through and squeezing into various holes in materials[v].

Jacquelene Drinkall’s work Emergency Alfoil Anthrop are two video still prints, silent artefacts of a noise performance in another time and place, the environment of Witches Leap,[vi] a site of industrial extraction. Elsewhere, FERRET artists have utilised and recycled the ordinary, the found and the humble into constructed works that comment upon our contemporary human condition. William Seeto’s In a sieve we’ll go to sea is a spam-derived title which sounds like a fable but functioned as the starting point for the work, a playful assemblage of repurposed plastics and cardboard. The sea delivered Rox De Luca the material for her works, found pieces of discarded, ocean-washed and eroded plastic. From her collection De Luca has made two monochromatic hanging pieces, Mellow Yellow and Bluey that emblematise the paradoxical yet aesthetically lovely tragedy of civilisation’s waste.

Upstairs, a Parramatta Road-facing window admits the heat of summer, strong urban light and traffic washed sounds of surrounding industrial Leichhardt. In a cardboard oratory nearby are works by Kate Scott and Lily Cummins. Scott’s A not quite unsightly enough ludic object (work in progress) is just that, a projection of play within a box, a world within the world. Cummins’ work is a drawn echo of this type of musing. In Last night I searched for you among the sheets, playful works on variously sized and cut cardboard are whimsically placed along, on and between a ledge and a white-painted brick wall, accentuating the process of drawing as a search to pin down the fleeting and the transitory.

In a final gesture, and back downstairs you can have a discussion and see a chair plunged head-first into the floor. Emma Wise’s Housing Project invites audience participation in a map and a conversation as part of her ongoing research into accommodation in Sydney. In Retro-fit Linden Braye seems to pose the initial Dear Ferret artist position through her sculptural work. While we recognise elements of a chair, it will not seat us, it appears to be accommodating the stepped floor, or maybe it’s the other way around. We are thereby unseated and unsettled.

Is to FERRET to make your art to fit or to fit your art into Articulate?

[i] The writer explored this theme in FERAL, 3
[ii] Michele Eliot, artist’s statement, FERRET 1 Roomsheet
[iii]  The artists reference the relationship between John Cage’s musical composition and Antonín Bečvár’s star charts, Tim Corne and Martin Langthorne, FERRET 1 Roomsheet, Op. Cit.
[iv] Catriona Stanton, artist’s statement, FERRET 1 Roomsheet, Op. Cit.
[v] Kat Sawyer, artist’s statement, FERRET 1 Roomsheet, Op. Cit.
[vi] Jacquelene Drinkall, artist’s statement, FERRET 1 Roomsheet, Op. Cit.


A long review, of a short show with a lot of artists in it — Isobel Johnston

I grew up in Newcastle, we used to buy prawns from the fish co-op, I called it Funnel Web Fisheries but it was Red Funnel Fisheries. That’s how I learnt the term malapropism.

Words are wonderful. It is not the misplacement of words but rather the playfulness of words that seem to have inspired the title Ferret for the third in a series of rolling exhibitions, Fair Isle 2013 and Feral 2015, with openings for this show on the 26 Jan, 2, 9, 16 and 23 Feb held at Articulate project space in 2018.  

It is an exhibition that offers more than the sum of its parts, as audiences that return for each new exhibition carry the immediate memory of the last show. And these returning viewers are part of the process of exchange: work A was there where work B now stands and in relation to  work C and work D  and now in the context of X and Y  and so on.

In this first iteration of Ferret, the breadth of intellectual enquiry is far ranging. It includes but is not limited to the environment, the body, shelter, mark making, painting, the stars and is delivered through various art forms again including but not limited to: installation, video, photo media, interactive maps, objects, sculpture, digital image, and residual trace.

It is above all, the use of largely everyday materials and the manner in which they transcend their regular use that seems to both unite and fracture our expectations.

Deborah Prior’s work Long Sleep#1 2018 is a standout example of this being able to be read as a poignant response to our human need for warmth and shelter and yet it is rendered unable to do either as the woollen blanket has been cut with clinical precision, pinned to the floor with most of it rerolled into two balls and displayed with all the formalism of high art. (1)

Michele Elliot’s work entitled One and Another 2018 seems to resonate similar ideas of ‘intimacy and abstraction’ bringing together watercolour, a cotton handkerchief and mapping pins to convey the everyday and even portraiture in what the artist describes as ‘a small digression’. (2)

Diane McCarthy’s Untitled also deals with trace and cloth; in this case the residual charcoal marks that leave their trace across the three related but separated works on paper made for this show.  It is a departure for those that know McCarthy’s work, which has long been concerned with skill rather than chance, as she is a highly accomplished draughtsperson.. The canvas plait that is bound to the paper in the third of these works seals the relationship of drawing and painting as inextricably bound together.

Beeswax, copper tacks and gesso are all associated with conventional support for oil painting. However, Lisa Sharp repositions these materials as independent of their painted surface reformed as ‘inarticualtions’ (paint less paintings) 2018,attached like little nests to the supporting beam of Articulate gallery’s wall, reminiscent of paper wasps’ homes writ large.

Lily Cummins’ Last night I searched for you among the sheets 2015-2016 again employs traditional art making materials but here she uses found cardboard as her chosen surface. This series of works were installed along the a ledge and side of the wall as if feeling their way in the gallery space - perhaps in search of you the viewer.

Space (and the  concepts surrounding the poetics of space) offers another connecting thread or means to discuss the disparate works by a number of other artists in the show.

William Seeto’s In A Sieve we’ll go to Sea is a wall work that seems to sum up all our fears for the future. It comprises repurposed objects, packaging and corrugated cardboard. Here, the uncertainty of the world we live in with a clock that ticks ever closer to midnight with only makeshift solutions, is captured in this aesthetically pleasing yet equally disturbing piece.

Sitting adjacent to Seeto’s is Anya Pesce’s work Large Diagonal Fold revisited 2017, a digital print on fabric of her own Large Diagonal Fold in perspex.  Strangely, jet shaped in its two dimensional form, it seems to hover in another dimension of travel. Bright, bold and dynamic there is something slightly melancholic about the work, perhaps caused by its relationship to the real and its simulacra.

Space travel might be seen to connect to Jacquelene Drinkall’s work Emergency Alfoil Anthrop , 2017 a still print from a video work wherein tin foil and the tin man from the Wizard of Oz are conflated in response to environmental issues of oil and coal.

In Anke Stäcker’s Nach Uns , 2017-2018 – which google translate as ‘after us’ in German, the work itself provides a sense of zones of uncertainty, presenting an image of what appears to be a visceral interior space but is in fact a digital image of plastic on plastic.

Catriona Stanton’s work The Line Between Us, 2018 uses fencing wire, material usually used to divide us, to create netlike structures that scale the gallery stairs asking “ is what divides us from within or without”  (3) While the work The Hours 2015 -2018 delivers the Business and Government white pages transformed into a web like structure by the artist black3y3dpeac3.  

For Kat Sawyer, it is the physical squeezing through small spaces in her set of actions, Pairs 2012 reminded me of Sydney’s ever increasing housing crisis is not unlike squeezing into smaller and smaller spaces. Housing is the ever present topic of conversation in Sydney and Emma Wise’s work The Housing project 2015- plots conversations that map Sydney’s accommodation, in what must seen as ‘shelter politics’ as housing becomes increasingly difficult for most people to secure in this town.  Angus Callander’s Canopy  2018 hangs from the rafters of the gallery both a festive banner and an ephemeral shelter , touching again on both questions of painting and modernism, and the relationship of viewer and the work.

Linden Braye’s work Retro-fit, 2018 gives us a work in the language of the ‘reno’ appealing to our preoccupation with architectural space at the same time it plays to the question of aesthetics and space.

There is a level of playfulness in many of the works that belies their seriousness and the often difficult issues they address.

A good example of the serious/playful juxtaposition is Kate Scott’s work  ‘Not quite unsightly enough ludic object (work in progress) 2018, while Rox de Luca’s works Mellow Yellow 2018, and Bluey 2018 are both visually appealing as chains of colour  and comforting in their order and arrangement.  However when we realize that they are collected pieces of plastic - this comfort doesn’t fall away per se but they unsettle us. It is as though they embody our complex relationship to the material in both its allure, and usefulness and at the same time as the scourge of the earth that chokes our waterways, floats as the giant garbage patch and is ingested by us as well as all things the earth.

Everything in heaven and earth comes full circle in Star grid, 2018 a collaborative work by Tim Corne and Martin Langthorne, that maps the exhibition itself and the artist’s works in relation to one and another with reference to heavyweights John Cage and Antonin Becvar’s own celestial atlases. Their Colour Score 2018 was ‘the show stopper’ of this incarnation of Ferret bringing clear triumphant stillness to the exhibition.

Articulate’s Ferret and its past incarnations could be seen as a kind of Mobius strip. Like topology itself; it turns and return on itself through time and space - altering, fluid and continuous. And it’s a great way to kick start the art year with work by a multitude of artists over five separate and yet connected shows.

Ferret I Friday 26 January – Sun 28 January 2018

 Isobel Johnston 2018

1.     Artist’s own statement links the work to sleep studies and the imperfect geometry of humans Room Sheet
2.     Artist’s statement in the Room Sheet

3.     Artist’s statement in the Room Sheet

 PDF version

FERRET 1 roomsheet

Kate Scott's Ferret 1 images

Diane McCarthy, Lily Cummins

Lisa Sharp, William Seeto

Kat Sawyer,  black3y3dpeac3

Martin Langthorne 

Deborah Prior, Anke Stächer, Michele Elliot

Angus Callander

Photos: Kate Scott



FERRET1 open till Sunday 28 January 5pm.

FERRET2 opens Friday 2 February 11am-5pm Fri -Sun, opening event Friday 2 Feb 6-8pm
Kate Scott

Angus Callander, Jacqueline Drinkall, Kat Sawyer

Angus Callander, Lisa Sharp, William Seeto

Lisa Sharp, black3y3dpeac3

Jacqueline Drinkall, Catriona Stanton, Kat Sawyer

Rox de Luca, Deborah Prior, Michele Elliot

Photos Margaret Roberts


FERRET 1 installation-in-progress

FERRET 1 opens Friday 26 January 6-8pm and is open 11am - 5pm Friday - Sunday till 28 Jan.

FERRET 1 will  show the work of artists black3y3dpeac3, Linden Braye, Angus Callander, Timothy Corne, Lily Cummins, Rox De Luca, Jacquelene Drinkall Michele Elliot, Martin Langthorne, Diane McCarthy, Anya Pesce, Deborah Prior, Kat Sawyer, Kate Scott, William Seeto, Lisa Sharp, Anke Stäcker, Catriona Stanton and Emma Wise. 



Rox de Luca | Deborah Prior

Emma Wise | Linden Braye

Anke Stäcker

Rox de Luca | Michele Elliot

Timothy Corne | Martin Langthorne

William Seeto | Anya Pesce

Lily Cummins

Jacquelene Drinkall