Solo exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.
6 April - 18 May, 2019
Working with arcane methods of mineral and resource extraction, Jamie North has gained critical attention for his ruinous appearing sculptures made from hand-produced concrete. Treating a traditionally mass-produced process with artisanal care, North creates formal structures that appear to have been weathered and deteriorated by the elements, while fostering and supporting emerging plant-life. Slag Studies begins to unpack the modes of production for which the artist is renowned. In a suite of photographic works, North depicts the industrial process of extracting iron, rendered moodily dark and foreboding, with machinery moving to tip molten slag into a churned landscape. In each, the slag pot appears as a fierce and luminous embodiment of energy, not dissimilar to the sun. This circular motif echoes throughout the sculptural works through the coring of slag rocks resulting in cylindrical tunnels. Some of these are filled with water, while in others lithophytes nestle in the cavities, bringing the carboniferous process full cycle. Each sculpture alludes to the various studio processes the artist employs in the making of his sculptural work, with the slag that has been used primarily as a material component in previous works essentialised and taking centre stage.
Mark Feary - Artistic Director, Gertrude Contemporary