More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye - Building A Spine - Walking film still for video installation

More Than Meets the Eye: Curated by: Pernilla Iggstrom
6 – 17 September 2022
D contemporary
23 Grafton St

Pernilla Iggstrom | Sikelela Owen | Lesley Oldaker | KV Duong | Katya Kvasova | Maria Kokkonen | Katy Howe

Talk & Performances: Saturday 10 September, 13.00 – 16.00. Curator’s Talk followed by performances by KV Duong, Pernilla Iggstrom, and Katy Howe

More Than Meets the Eye” a group exhibition by seven artists exploring identity
through a multifaceted lens. Paintings, installations, and performances are woven together to slowly unmask what is behind our façade.

Conceived by curator Pernilla Iggstrom and featuring a diverse range of artists and art practices, this exhibition is a voyage into an uncharted territory. A variety of narratives converge through paintings, installations, and performances aiming to raise questions about the female experience, motherhood, LGBTQ issues, cultural heritage and genetic inheritance.

More Than Meets the Eye_Building A Spine - Walking_ film still for video installation
Building A Spine Walking film still for video installation

The viewer is invited to explore, think, and feel. Do we have control over our stories, our bodies, our place on the planet? Or do we feel the impending suffocation of being trapped in a life over which we can exert no control? If we reach a deeper understanding, how is our perception altered?

Each artist provides a different perspective to contemplate. This results in the construction of new narratives, prompting us to question “what lies beyond what meets the eye?” What if we have been removed from our family, our culture, suffered trauma and loss; what then? How do we create understanding when we are a mystery to ourselves? The quest for understanding and to be understood unites us as humans. As Anais Nin wryly observed, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”.

Exploring our vulnerability, Lesley Oldaker examines the discord between what we present on the surface and the identity we hide underneath. She communicates a common sense of displacement and questions our feelings of belonging and our relevance within our shared urban environments. These themes are further analysed in the works of Pernilla Iggstrom who examines the loss of cultural heritage through emigration and its impact on our sense of self.

She encourages us to explore what exists beyond first glance, thereby breaking down stereotypical impressions and assumptions. KV Duong investigates personal migration and cultural assimilation, based on remnants of the Vietnam War. His distorted retelling suggests a new psychological reality as a result, subverting the accepted narrative of conflict in the country of his birth.

PIggstrom The Show Must Go On Act Two 2022 oil and acrylic on linen 55x50cm
PIggstrom The Show Must Go On Act Two 2022
oil and acrylic on linen 55x50cm

The impact of historical events can ripple through our genetic heritage. Maria Kokkonen explores intergenerational trauma and its effects on future generations through the epigenetic alteration of genes. A biological memory can be passed down through families, to affect the present. The importance of kinship is central to Sikelela Owen’s work where she examines how heritage and memory influence our identity. Painting fleeting memories from family photos, she revisits precious moments through minimal gestural mark making. Yet while family can engender feelings of happiness and safety, these can be juxtaposed with isolation, anxiety and the suffocation of motherhood, which is explored by Katy Howe.

Through the pandemic, she sought comfort in the environment to find connection and a sense of belonging. The shared experience and inner understanding of being female is dominant in Katya Kvasova’s work. Viewed through the prism of body language, she examines this as a mirror for our character and emotional state, inviting us to look beyond the outer shell to the depths beneath.

©2022 D Contemporary