THE days of an art exhibition being a stuffy affair with socialites nibbling canapés and admiring staid 15th century paintings is largely a thing of the past.
These days exhibitions tend to be lively, multimedia affairs including everything from steampunk robots to naked trapeze artists eating pâté.
There will definitely be a cross-section of strange art at Stephen Brameld and Jay Staples’ latest exhibition Mod Dogs in Fremantle.
The Perth and Beaconsfield artists joined forces about five years ago to collaborate on large-scale abstract paintings and sculptures.
“Jay and I have developed a singular, preternatural visual language, which is seperate from our own individual pursuits,” Brameld says.
“Two different artistic practices coming together, simplifying, mixing into a new form and then expanding.”
The genesis of Mod Dogs can be traced back to 2020 when they painted a window framing a port.
“We looked into the window, liked what we saw and so opened it and stepped through,” Brameld says.
“The next image we made was Port and then Train Station – each new painting existing within the previous work.
“The rest of the show domino’d from there. Like a reverse babushka…the imagined space expanding from one work to the next.
“All the windows act as expressions of travel to the next work. The show is an act of world making.”
Brameld cites artists like Rose Wylie, Nitzer Ebb and Georg Baselitz as major influences.
To get you in the mind-bending door-inside-a-door mood, they’ll be an atmospheric soundtrack by trio Gun Fu – a Benjamin Witt project featuring Ben Vanderwal and Marc Earley – and a video installation in a separate AV room.
“Benjamin Witt has composed music in response to the artworks in the show,” Brameld says. “They will also be improvising live in response to the exhibition.
“Loosely, the video documents the peculiar process of the creation of one of the sculptures in the show.”
Last year Brameld and Staples, both 32, started working out of an old garage on Pakenham Street in Fremantle.
“Formerly a car bay and rubbish area, it was transformed by us into a studio/workshop and eventually into a gallery, where we have since held two exhibitions RECESS and The Birthday Party,” Brameld says.
“It is still our studio/workshop.”
Mod Dogs is at the PS on Pakenham Street in Fremantle from June 10 – 25. For more info visit psas.com.au
by STEPHEN POLLOCK