Calling attention to the fragility of idealised ‘perfect systems’ in technology, The Limits of Control identifies concerns surrounding our dependence on digital systems and how we, as humans, navigate questions of ultimate control and reliability. This refined new sculptural work from Taj ‘Deams’ Alexander seeks to illuminate the implications of malfunction in the digital-information age through his own complex negotiation with the interrupted image.
Digital systems are now deeply interwoven within our socio-psychological spheres. How we share and contextualise information is governed and interpreted through the limits of technology. The loss of control in this digitally dependent age poses a frustrating yet very real limitation on our ability to negotiate the power we attribute to such systems.
The Limits Of Control attempts to illustrate this fragility by exploring the way in which we have adapted a disrupted digital landscape into our culture as a means to humanise and further crystallise our concerns. The artist presents an arresting dialogue between the interrupted form and abstracted imagery. The resulting objects are seemingly simple yet clearly complex in their composition and physical manifestation.
The Limits Of Control Deams, Artist In Focus August 1 — August 11 2019
Modern Times 311 Smith Street Collingwood VIC 3066
All works are created using raw pigment and synthetic polymer paint applied to a canvas/ linen blend. The painting is then mounted onto either hard or plywood timber structures. Two sculptures in this collection have the addition of a steel plate and internal counterweights to create the ‘impossibly balanced’ illusion.
Our visual reality is oceanic; information surges against our mind and breaks with overwhelming intensity, concepts swallow us like tides, only to release us again confused & afloat. Swept up in these forces, we struggle to enter into meaningful dialogue and information stimulus is often one sided. Our fleeting impressions are rendered vulnerable to a consumerist agenda, aligning us unwittingly to ‘designer values’ and disempowering our connection with the self.
Abstract painter Deams presents ‘Waves’, a collection of reductive paintings-as-remedy, inspiring a deceleration of experience and a deepening of self-awareness. Central to the work is the release of the light, colour and energy that become bound by waves, both physical and metaphysical. An oscillating relationship between object and observer allows for subjective meaning to arise in the absence of a prescribed narrative. This space of exchange creates an opportunity for an imminent internal experience: a rare moment of reflection on the still surface of a calm sea.
“I want people to be drawn in to a visceral space, guided by a sense of familiarity and enticed by a deeper sense of mystery. We engage in people, objects and environment through holding attention, without attention there is no opportunity to experience true resonance. It is through the experience of resonance that we reveal ourselves within the work; it presents a door to introspection that allows moments of wonder and discovery to occur. In this way, the viewer is creating his or her own meaning. There is a direct exchange of energy between artwork and audience, a relationship is being forged.”
Waves Deams, Solo Exhibition September 21 — September 29 2018
Besser Space 15 — 25 Keele Street Collingwood VIC 3066
A multidisciplinary group exhibition, curated by Kane Alexander. Hyper looks at vibrant colour, states of bliss, hyper-realness and hyper-feeling. Held at 222 Roslyn Gallery, West Melbourne in September 2018.
Derek Swalwell Lilli Waters Lance Delary-Simpson Chris Pennings Elliott Routledge Deams Tom Adair Kane Alexander
Pictured Artwork: ‘Night Stroll’ 2018 Acrylic & Pigment on Canvas/ Linen Blend 1040 X 1400mm Available
Variations draws together ten preeminent emerging artists who work across painting and sculpture. Meditating on textural and gestural foundations, the exhibition showcases the artists’ beautiful and luminous explorations in paint, drawing and form.
Curated by Monday Week August 10 — August 18, 2018
Collins Place Gallery 45 Collins Street East Melbourne
‘Between Worlds’ Acrylic on Canvas/ Linen Blend 650 X 850mm
‘Looking Out (Looking In)’ Acrylic on Canvas/ Linen Blend 454 X 454mm Available
‘Parting Ways’ Acrylic on Canvas/ Linen Blend 454 X 454mm Available
Following on from his hugely successful 2016 exhibition, In The Fold, Deams returns to Backwoods for his second exhibition with the gallery. Transition marks a further progression and sophistication of his distinctive approach to painting and abstraction. This new body of work encapsulates the seemingly chaotic yet clearly directed nature of energy and form in a state of transition.
This transient metamorphosis allows us a momentary glimpse into the future of the artists work whilst simultaneously presenting a deep acknowledgement of the diversity of his past explorations. Confidently employing expressionist techniques, Deams’ distinct brushstrokes and multi-layered process guide the work into exciting new territory. The works evoke a deep sense of change and a fearless approach that has been demonstrated by the ubiquitous evolution in his work.
Transition Deams, Solo Exhibition May 19 — June 02, 2017
Ambient landscapes dissolve into studied geological abstractions, revealing waves of movement in the stillness of a mountain. The artist wanders in a dreamlike narrative: through a moonlit panorama, recording the overlapping dimensions of his surroundings. These reductive compositions present both an inquisitive attention and poetic dialogue between the macroscopic form and microscopic structure of each object. Fieldnotes is an insight into the artist’s investigative process and findings, and an invitation to participate in the same manifold enquiry into the nature of things.
“I’m interested in the linguistic and conceptual connection between the micro and macroscopic views of the same object. Can we derive conceptual recognition from a microscopic image just through it’s patterning or from inherent characteristics such as colour and texture? How does this affect our relationship with the macroscopic view of the same object of enquiry?”
Fieldnotes Deams, Solo Exhibition March 3 — March 12| 2017
No Vacancy Project Space The Atrium, Federation Drive Melbourne
We are intrinsically bound by our shared experiences as we move along uncertain paths. 'In The Fold' seeks to illuminate the nature of this human journey by inviting viewers to explore their own empathic connection to humanity and community.
Swathes of subdued tones and folding brushstrokes coalesce as a metaphor for our visceral experiences. Drifting emotional landscapes are juxtaposed with glimpses of fragile geometry that act to hold the works in states of impossible stillness. These lines create a defining tension, shedding light on the uncertainty of our paths.
In The Fold Deams, Solo Exhibition April 22 — May 01 2016
Returning to his foundations in geometry based imagery; Deams investigates the nature of the interrupted line. This collection of paper works explores dynamic tension created by interrupted paths and narratives.
An immersive mural installation will envelop the audience in Deams’ signature kinetic arrangements. The artist invites the public to witness the creation of this evolving artwork over three days and gain some insight into his intuitive process.
Line, Interrupted Deams, Solo Exhibition June 5 — June 30 2015
The first impression is one of seething movement, suspended momentarily in the palpable, containing gravity of each canvas. Storms of texture collide and coalesce. Fields of occluding darkness acquiesce to explosions of positive form. A fragile linear geometry dances through the chaos, tracing the contours of profound inner experience. All this, permeated by a disarming sense of consistency: the quiet confidence of a mind that has enquired deeply into the elemental relationship between person and place, and returned to embody in painted motion the states unveiled in that vast territory.
Each canvas is both a promise and permission, inviting the witness to step through to a direct experience of sacred fearlessness. The volatile relationship between self and place is laid bare, not for analytical scrutiny, but to be viscerally embodied by the observer and experienced as a shared state of human alchemy.
The forces at play in Passing Through are further illuminated in the context of Deams’ previous exhibition, Swoop & Melodie (2011); an attempt to respond to a dynamic worldview with a rigorous geometric structure. Where this geometry has continued in his current work, its role has shifted from the aesthetic, and taken instead the place of the individual mind, navigating the ocean of subjective experience. The exploration of the natural world has grown from a precise symphony to a contained explosion - moving beyond the imposition of conceptual thought.
This is what makes Passing Through such an extraordinary experience – because rather than paintings about a state, these paintings are the state itself. They contain, just for a moment, the torrential energy of the personal wilderness in a form capable of bypassing self-conscious intellect and transmitting the experience of an undeniable awe.
— Essay by Adam Paquette
Passing Through concludes with a live painting and artist talk on the 30th of April, at St Helier’s Street Gallery in Melbourne.
Passing Through Deams, Solo Exhibition April 18 — April 30 2014