Dripping out of a mirror

Mark Wingrave

26.05.2023 - 24.06.2023

During the 1917 revolution, Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote the chillingly beautiful book, We, which served as a precursor to George Orwell’s 1984.  Like Orwell’s novel, Zamyatin envisions a totalitarian future where everyone lives under surveillance. However, We takes a much more experimental approach, using hallucinogenic prose that dazzles readers with the visionary imagination of JG Ballard and concrete poetry.

I began to read Yevgeny Zamyatin during the 2021 lockdown period, as something about his themes and extravagant metaphors resonated with me. During that time, I came across an online video about drawing with graphite powder on newsprint and began working on a series of collages that incorporated fragments from Zamyatin’s writings in Russian and translation.

The collages in Dripping out of a mirror are smeared and rubbed graphite overlaid by folded paper cutouts. The greasiness of graphite catches the slipperiness of newsprint; forensically, it highlights every buckle, crease and tear. The geometry of the collages is reflected in the symmetries of translation; the genres of writing and drawing inhabit each other's worlds. Here, the positive and negative shapes change places, like the famous optical illusion of two faces and a vase. These figure/ground relationships are fascinating; they suggest an exchange where figures are substituted by space.

Mark Wingrave

Mark Wingrave studied painting in the UK, was awarded a scholarship to Rome, and had a studio residency at Gertrude Street Studios.

Recent exhibitions include:
2021 One Subject, Abstract Project, Paris, France; A5 Drawings, Questa, New Mexico, US; 2021 Solo show Last Person Singular, Five Walls, Melbourne 2019 Solo show The Time of Day, Five Walls, 2017 Solo show Five Walls, The Lost Diagrams of Walter Benjamin, (publication) Berlin 2016 Sublunar, Rubicon ARI, Melbourne, Liverpool Book Art Exhibition, UK, 2015 Gold Coast Art Prize, AU; Artist’s Book Award (Acquisition), Sydney, AU; 2014 Depthless, Flatness: Incidents Above a Bar, The Alderman, Melbourne, AU; 2013 Borders and Crossings, Impact 8, Dundee, UK; 2012 UnParallel, Linden, Melbourne, Australia; Sequence, Selection and Loop, Sarah Scout, Melbourne, AU. Previous exhibitions include: Horti Hall, Melbourne; Contemporary Art Centre, Greenaway Gallery; Binz 39 Arts Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland; Christies Fine Art, UK; Centro di Sarro, Rome, Italy.

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