Sutton Projects

230 Young Street, Fitzroy
1 - 5pm Fri & Sat

Sutton Gallery's converted warehouse has an exciting series of experimental art projects scheduled throughout the year. An alternative to the conventional gallery space, the venue offers new possibilities for artists seeking to extend their exhibiting language and potential.

Invited artists are given space to try out new ideas and approaches that will supplement and stretch their practice. Unrestricted by the formalities of a commercial show, these artists are freed to play with more temporal forms of representation, such as performance, multimedia and site specific installations.

Artists may choose to use the project as an opportunity to broaden their horizons through collaboration with other artists or by taking on the role of curator. The space also provides a platform for artists wishing to reflect on the processes and outcomes of external projects that viewers would not ordinarily have access to, such as residencies and public commissions.

Projects will change over every 4-5 weeks during 2018.



Project Space calendar 2018

Project Space calendar 2017

Project Space calendar 2016

Project Space calendar 2015

Project Space calendar 2014

Project Space calendar 2013

Project Space calendar 2012

Project Space calendar 2011

Project Space calendar 2010

Project Space calendar 2009

Artwork from exhibition by Catherine Bell

25 November 2011 - 17 December 2011

Catherine Bell

Mum's the Word

Mum's the Word is the latest exhibition from Melbourne-based artist Catherine Bell. Presented by Sutton Projects, Bell builds on her longstanding interest in motherhood, surrogacy and deviant maternity, and also presents new ideas relating to the performative nature of public space.

Drawing upon research undertaken by Bell during a recent Australia Council studio residency in New York, Mum's the Word utilises photos of black nannies caring for white babies in Manhattan. Taken surreptitiously by Bell, these images extend her interest in the artist as ethnographer and social commentator. As Bell describes: ‘I worked as a nanny in London for three years and was surprised at the number of African American nannies I witnessed during my time in New York. Child care is often a thankless and unrecognised task and I felt compelled to illuminate the anonymity of the nanny from invisible to visible.'

Her covert snap shots bring to the fore questions of personal privacy; especially given the unauthorized presence of children in Bell's documentation - the source of much controversy in recent times. It is also a satirical twist on the paparazzi, eager to capture famous mothers with their newborns; these images are more concerned with the anonymity of the nannies, than the notoriety of the Park Avenue offspring. Meanwhile monthly photo shots of famous actresses, and their newly adopted African babies, are being published on the front cover of Who magazine. Bell is interested in these juxtapositions of social reality and popular culture and how the street becomes a site for exposing and undermining cultural and social relations.

Artwork from exhibition by Valerie Sparks

20 October 2011 - 12 November 2011

Valerie Sparks


Gallery Hours during this exhibition:
Wed - Sat, 1-5pmSutton Gallery is pleased to present Understory, an exhibition of new work by Valerie Sparks. Drawing upon her ongoing interest in the complex relationship that exists between interiors and exteriors, Sparks has created a site-specific installation that responds to the architectural particularities of the Sutton Projects gallery space.

While continuing to incorporate digital photographic wallpaper vistas that transform gallery walls into strange, immersive environments, Understory also highlights recent thoughts and developments in Sparks' practice stemming from research conducted on the collections and architecture of key European Museums and sites. Specific references include spaces such as greenhouses and glass houses, where living things are protected in man-made structures; and the notion of infinity, with Sparks installing a mirrored room that gives the illusion of the floor plummeting endlessly below. As Ashley Crawford notes, ‘outside and inside become indifferent and abstract notions'

The works make particular reference to the lavish interiors of the Kew Gardens Glasshouse, with its exquisite spiral staircase. The constructed spaces presented explore and expand on Sparks' journey into these glasshouses - eluding to not only their interior architecture, but also their purpose to preserve and protect.

Sparks presents a display case, lined with mirrors, it is infinitely replicated within itself as is the small plant inside; this evocative use of reflection is repeated throughout the installation and continually puts into question, what is real and what is an illusion. The plant, Nematolepis Wilsonii, was presumed extinct in the wild after Victoria's Black Saturday fires of 2009. Two months prior to the fire, the Victorian Conservation Seed bank collected from the one known site where they had naturally grown. Seeds were passed on to both the Melbourne Botanical Gardens and the Kew Gardens Millennium Seed Bank for cultivation, in order to restore the population in the wild. This plant's recent history tells a story of vulnerability, survival, recovery and resilience, throughout which human intervention is key factor. Sparks' installation mimics the infinite repetition of propagation and the global replication of environments. The works celebrate the relationship between the natural and unnatural, as well as examining existing protected spaces - inside and outside.


Artwork from exhibition by Akira Akira, Christo Crocker, Susan Jacobs, Campbell Patterson, Kenzee Patterson, Stuart Ringholt, Emma White, Marcin Wojcik, Nicki Wynnychuk

15 September 2011 - 08 October 2011

Akira Akira, Christo Crocker, Susan Jacobs, Campbell Patterson, Kenzee Patterson, Stuart Ringholt, Emma White, Marcin Wojcik, Nicki Wynnychuk

Hidden Definition

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Hidden Definition, a group exhibition featuring artists whose practices draw attention to the particularities of the everyday and the unnoticed.

These artists' practices have a curiosity that bends our expectations of the world around us. Their work brings to the fore interstices, intervals and gaps in our collective vision. Focusing upon incidental, humble events, the exhibition includes video and object-based works inspired by modest observations and studio experimentation. Whether exploring the invisible forces of gravity and friction, remaking and skewing common objects, or de-familiarising simple human behaviours, Hidden Definition concentrates on what is often seen as beside the point.

Artwork from exhibition by Beth Arnold

07 July 2011 - 30 July 2011

Beth Arnold

approaching site

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present approaching site, an exhibition by Beth Arnold that continues Arnold's ongoing interest in the urban environment, and specifically the Melbourne urban environment.

As the 2010 recipient of the Sutton Gallery Emerging Artist Award, Arnold has been invited to exhibit new work in the Sutton Project Space. Arnold will present a site-specific exhibition involving several large casts made from materials such as plaster, wax and cement, alongside a series of photographic prints and timber lengths. All of these elements are inspired by found fragments in Arnold's immediate urban environment which she collects, and through sculptural and photographic processes, are then transformed and presented in the gallery.

Artwork from exhibition by Brett Colquhoun

10 June 2011 - 02 July 2011

Brett Colquhoun


Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Breath, a solo exhibition of works by Brett Colquhoun. Consisting of four distinct bodies of work - Breath, A Figure Walks, Shift and Slideworks - each series explores the concept of memory as a changeable and intangible, yet wholly indispensable, human function.

Breath depicts twelve landscapes viewed through a window. With hazy, blurred central areas conveying the effect of warm breath on glass, these images express a human presence or sign of life. This effect is achieved by rubbing back - or erasing - the image so that, as the breath appears, the scene behind evaporates. The entire landscape appears to slowly grow fainter and disintegrate, which Colquhoun describes as a ‘metaphor for memory and life fading.'

Jolting from one frame to the next, the elemental form in A Figure Walks can be read simultaneously as a lightning bolt and a crack in the wall. In opposition to the lightness of Breath, this precise fissure acts as a symbol for the dual qualities of memory as both enduring and ephemeral in nature.

In the series Shift a photographic slide (used as a frame for envisaging the past) is segmented and layered. This reflects how past events can be dislocated and confused through memory.

The Slideworks cardboard sculptures relate to Colquhoun's previous slide paintings and extend their particular themes into three dimensional forms. In addition Colquhoun provides drawn plans for their transition from 2 to 3 dimensions. These plans are rendered as aged papers from the past.

Taken as a whole, the exhibition relays a strange and elegant mystery, with Colquhoun delving into the many possibilities and capabilities of our personal memories.

Artwork from exhibition by Kim Donaldson, Katarina Frank, Bianca Hester, Neil Malone, Andrew McQualter, Nobuaki Onishi, Fran Anna Van Riemsdyk, Kiron Robinson, Ai Sasaki, Chiyuki Sakagami, Utako Shindo

07 May 2011 - 28 May 2011

Kim Donaldson, Katarina Frank, Bianca Hester, Neil Malone, Andrew McQualter, Nobuaki Onishi, Fran Anna Van Riemsdyk, Kiron Robinson, Ai Sasaki, Chiyuki Sakagami, Utako Shindo

the galaxy garden

the galaxy garden is a group exhibition that responds poetically to the idea of the garden through a variety of media. Curated by Utako Shindo, the exhibition features work by seven Australian based artists and four Japanese artists.

Artwork from exhibition by andrew hazewinkel & rosslynd piggott

02 April 2011 - 23 April 2011

andrew hazewinkel & rosslynd piggott

dark light

Sutton gallery is pleased to present dark light the first collaborative undertaking between Andrew Hazewinkel and Rosslynd Piggott. This multi-layered exhibition that draws together Hazewinkel and Piggott's many shared interests including geographical parallels, material resonance, light conditions and literary references ranging from Lafcardio Hearn to Pliny the Elder. dark light brings together new and earlier works from these two established Melbourne artists revealing not only their shared material interests, but also the converging currents that run beneath the lustrous reflective surfaces prevalent in both artist's practice.

Artwork from exhibition by Geoff Newton & Kate Smith

03 March 2011 - 26 March 2011

Geoff Newton & Kate Smith

Geoff Newton & Kate Smith

Sutton Gallery's Project Space, opens this year with Melbourne artists Geoff Newton and Kate Smith. The pairing of these dynamic artists forms an exciting and challenging study of materials, processes, and contemporary art making in Melbourne.