Extracts from Reviews

“A selection of artists' films that let the background take the foreground. Landscape, as cheap and bountiful an asset to filmmakers as ever there was, can say more than a mere performer ever can. What it says, though, depends on how it is presented. The wildly different topographies and scenery of the UK and Australia are explored here in short video and film segments, compiled into themed programmes. The impact of man on the land - and vice versa - is mapped by such artists as Andrew Kötting. David Theobald, John Gillies and Sofia Dahlgren who find beauty and profundity in such sights as oil-drilling platforms, the changing seasons and an ice-cream van weaving through a traffic jam.”
- Phelim O'Neill, Guardian Guide, January 2009

"The contrasting attitudes of UK and Australian filmmakers is central to understanding Figuring Landscapes. Experimental artists in Australia, John Gillies observed, until recently avoided working with a landscape so often seeming the image-preserve of the Australian tourist board; whilst Aboriginal land rights, Gillies pointed out, extend to the image of a place as well as its physicality. If the shifting sense of scale and environmental conditions seemed evident to a London audience, Gillies used the Q&A to clarify imagery in several Australian films, highlighting the hemorrhaging of historical and political meaning when films are shown beyond their original time and place."
- David Berridge, RSA Arts & Ecology, February 2009
Read the entire article here: http://www.rsaartsandecology.org.uk/magazine/features/dave-berridge--figuring-landscapes

Time Out Sydney, 18 March 2009 (download PDF)

"It would be inaccurate to suggest that Figuring Landscapes is entirely about differences - there are congruencies across the 55 works in this programme, spanning the breadth of video, film and digital media being produced in both countries. Some sculpt landscape (Semiconductor's All the Time in the World, 2005), others embrace the sublime (Shaun Gladwell's Approach to Mundi Mundi, 2007). The majority of works in the programme were made before Figuring Landscapes was conceived, so it is the curatorial hand that has foregrounded the 'vexed' issue of traumatised landscape by setting up this Australian UK/European paring. As I write, the worst fires in history are burning Eastern Australia, and it seems all the more pressing that projects such as this should facilitate dialogue across cultures, and offer more opportunities to document, imagine and discuss how we are figured, and how we figure ourselves into landscapes.”
- Maryclare Foá, Vertigo Magazine, Summer 2009

Figuring Landscapes is an intelligently selected exhibition that highlights how contemporary artists continue to be drawn to landscape precisely because it remains such a highly contested field. Time and again the genre's key attraction is that it can provide a space to destabilise any notion of a fixed identity and revel in this uncertainty.
- Pryle Behrman, Art Monthly, issue 328, July - August 2009
Read the entire review.