Sailors Three

Sutton Project Space, Melbourne, 2014.

Sutton Gallery is proud to present Sailors Three, an exhibition that brings together for the first time Luscombe’s three strands of practice: furniture-making, painting and ceramics.Comprising paintings and ceramic pieces that are hung, leant and embedded in wooden furniture that itself sits half way between sculpture and functional object, this body of work is peppered with motifs associated with the ocean and the shoreline. Imagery is drawn from a range of sources, including cartoons (Popeye), the St Kilda foreshore (where Luscombe attempted un plein air), fashion (the nautical-themed clothing worn by the artist), and from the objects that surround Luscombe in her daily life.

While the exhibition muses on political battles that are being played out on distant oceans, Luscombe resolutely situates her observations within her own relatively mild daily experiences. The hope is that in doing so, she might reconcile her personal narrative with Australia’s troubling political climate. This sense is amplified by the use of furniture as the framework for ceramics and painting, which places these works within the comfortable and familiar realm of one’s domestic space. Moving between representation and abstraction in the paintings, the image of the ocean becomes a daily reminder of these events occurring over the horizon.

Connected to this personal narrative is the secondary subject of the exhibition: the figure of the artist, and the artist’s broader role. The paintings in the exhibition borrow a number of familiar tropes: the amateur artist, the painter tucked away in the studio, and the artist in the landscape, conducting plein air. Luscombe considers the tension contained within this figure – between the artist’s personal narrative and their social responsibilities – building a series of quietly ambivalent images.

Additionally, the Three Sailors continues Luscombe’s investigation into an expanded concept of painting, one that is part sculpture, part furniture, part painting, these works reflecting on painting having a functional use.

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Sailors Three, 2014, installation view, Sutton Project Space. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailors Three, 2014, installation view, Sutton Project Space. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

 

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Sailors Three, 2014, installation view, Sutton Project Space. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailors Three, 2014, installation view, Sutton Project Space. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Amateur Night, 2014, oil and acrylic on plywood, 190 x 71.5 x 60 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Amateur Night, 2014, oil and acrylic on plywood, 190 x 71.5 x 60 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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The artist studio/café, en plein air (after Linda Marrinon), 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, plywood and maritime flag, 155.5 x 142 x 14.5 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

 

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In the air and out of the office, 2014, text by written Gemma Weston with some instruction by Liang Luscombe, oil and acrylic on canvas, acrylic and oil on board, dibond, cotton and Victorian ash, 164.5 x 40 x 65 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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In the air and out of the office, 2014, text by written Gemma Weston with some instruction by Liang Luscombe, oil and acrylic on canvas, acrylic and oil on board, dibond, cotton and Victorian ash, 164.5 x 40 x 65 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailed out, on, 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, Victorian ash, 149 x 60 x 25 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailed out, on, 2014, oil and acrylic on canvas, Victorian ash, 149 x 60 x 25 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailors Three, 2014, installation view, Sutton Project Space. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailors Three, 2014, oil and acrylic on board, Victorian ash and maritime flag, 190.5 x 45 x 32.5 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Sailors Three, 2014, oil and acrylic on board, Victorian ash and maritime flag, 190.5 x 45 x 32.5 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Tablets (Santa Maria in Trastevere), 2014 earthenware and Victorian ash, 178 x 40 x 50 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Tablets (Santa Maria in Trastevere), 2014 earthenware and Victorian ash, 178 x 40 x 50 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

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Tablets (Santa Maria in Trastevere), 2014 earthenware and Victorian ash, 178 x 40 x 50 cm. Photo credit: Matthew Stanton.

Text written by Gemma Weston with some instruction by Liang Luscombe.