9-22 December 2016 at PS Art Space, Fremantle, Western Australia.
A collaboration between artists Jarrad Seng and Amok Island, Parallels presents a new perspective on the rugged coastline of renowned Western Australian destination Rottnest Island. An exhibition of photography and paintings, Parallels will see Jarrad Seng’s highly detailed and textured medium format photographs alongside Amok Island’s minimal, geometric interpretations.
"Parallels presents nine sets of aerial images - one a photograph, one a near- abstract interpretation of that photograph, so 18 pieces in all - of Rottnest Island as seen from a light aircraft.
"I think that's what so interesting about this project, and why I was so keen to collaborate with Xander (Amok Island)," Jarrad says. "It's really something different. "Showcasing the same subject matter side by side but interpreted in really different ways. The highly textured photographs are probably more what the audience is accustomed to. But by putting them together with Xander's minimalist abstract interpretations, it elevates both."
The result is a less passive way of looking. One is encouraged literally to find parallels between the two pieces in each pair. "Hopefully the audience spends a lot more time than usual looking between the two," Jarrad says. "You can find a specific detail in a photograph and see how Xander's interpreted that. Then go back to the photograph."
"I'm translating Jarrad's photographs into my own visual language," Xander says. "I make all kinds of rules for myself. For example, the waves I translate into dots and bring out more cubist qualities. I'm balancing on that fine line between abstraction and a realistic representation of Jarrad's photo. But I'm pretty happy for people to see them as abstract works of art."
Jarrad says the collaboration started in the plane. "I work quite a bit for tourism bodies and I'm in the air quite often.
"So the aerial landscape genre is very familiar to me. What made this project special was working so closely with Xander. I'd be shooting these images but consulting with him the whole time regarding texture and framing and so on. And that made me look at the landscape differently."
"Landscape painting in this form is quite a new thing for me," Xander says. "It's only now that I've got close enough to an individual style to really think about an exhibition. Which is this one."
Text: William Yeoman, The West Australian 2016
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Video by Jarrad Seng
The West Australian https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/aerial-views-in-double-vision-ng-ya-124266