In Time: Essay by Rilke Oakley
In Time is an exhibition of four artists connected through place and practice. James Blackwell, Sophie Conolly, Judith Martinez and Leonardo Uribe reflect personal experiences through a variety of media, from a vantage point of living in the beautiful surrounds of the Blue Mountains. Their practices are process based and involve the use of natural materials, symbolic and found objects, photography, text and paper.
Time is fluid – it is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole – however, we do not experience time as linear. As any given day progresses we move back and forth through time – finding ourselves drawn back to the past in the form of memories or perhaps focussing on the future. We take time, give time, spend time and we can be on time, out of time and in time.
This exhibition reflects the dedicated time taken by the artists to concentrate fully on their practice. The works represent hours in the studio revisiting the past, reconstructing or responding to memories, and imagining the future. Like in meditation, spending significant periods of uninterrupted time with any subject allows deeper understanding. The meticulous and painstaking approach required to achieve these exquisite works is not for the impatient.
Similarly, this exhibition is not a quick-fix viewing experience. The same dedication that the artists gave to making this work must be given by the viewer to fully appreciate their complexity and meaning. Being in the present moment is a fundamental challenge of modern life. The practices of these four artists encourage us to slow down, to reflect and imagine and most importantly to take our time.
Rilka Oakley, April 2018