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 Elizabeth Gower

08 November 2013 - 07 December 2013

Elizabeth Gower

The Cutting Table

Functioning as a replication and extension of her studio practice, The Cutting Table sees Gower temporarily re-configure the various material resources she has collected and collated over a number of years into a large installation at Sutton Projects.

The inherent familiarity, fragility, impermanence and ‘low culture’ origins of the paper fragments amassed in the installation records the repetitious graphics of visual merchandising and the transitory symbols of affluent contemporary culture. The multiplicity and scope of her chosen material both enables and informs the repetitive systems and geometries that provide the matrix for her works; repetition itself being analogous to material excess, contemplation and routine. By cutting-up, sorting and rearranging this daily visual barrage, Gower re-directs the congestion and formulaic structure of advertising into another quieter structure and context. 

The Cutting Table is simultaneously a storage unit, workspace and palette; it sits as evidence of actions completed whilst also signifying potential ideas and gestures.

Artwork from exhibition by Cherine Fahd

26 September 2013 - 19 October 2013

Cherine Fahd


Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Camouflage by Cherine Fahd; a series of photographs where ideas central to portraiture are tested and the notion of personal and physical disclosure is explored.

Since 2009 Fahd has made self-portraits in which she always hides her face. This deliberate act of concealment
comes out of Fahd's earliest encounter with being photographed where, posing for a studio portrait with her sister at the age of four, the artist experienced an intense sense of disappointment when the image did not accurately convey her own internal sense of self. The images in Camouflage continue Fahd's sustained response to this feeling of disorientation, offering a reflection on the performance that occurs in the face of the camera-and the impossibility of our performance to represent oneself accurately for the camera.

Undermining the convention of portraits to rely heavily on the face, the artist-as-subject in Camouflage is concealed behind a series of large-scale coloured fabrics and sheets of paper that recall the visual language of hard edge abstraction. The sharpness of the colour field, however, is disrupted by the fleshy body that oozes and protrudes from the ripped edges of these bold, elementary forms; with only an eye, nose, hand, belly button, nipple and feet ever peeking out at the viewer. The simultaneous hiding and revealing of the self sees Fahd seek out a way to better represent the self which, unlike the fixed photographic image, is manifold and changeable: ‘The photographs as portraits ask you to look for me and in their camouflage hope to suggest the uncertainty of the idea of "me".'

Cherine Fahd lives and works in Sydney. She is currently a PhD candidate at Monash University, Melbourne, and Lecturer in Photomedia at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. Recent exhibitions include: Everyday Fear, The Substation, Melbourne, 2013; 365 Attempts to Meditate, Peloton, Sydney, 2013; In Camera and In Public, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2011; Afterglow: Performance Art and Photography, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, 2011; Today, MOP, Sydney 2011; and Multiplicities: Self portraits from the Collection, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, 2010.  Fahd's work is represented in major public collections in Australia, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Artwork from exhibition by Helen Johnson, Elizabeth Newman, John Nixon and Joshua Petherick

22 August 2013 - 14 September 2013

Helen Johnson, Elizabeth Newman, John Nixon and Joshua Petherick

Monochrome Exhibition

When we talk about an artwork, it is normal to recite certain facts surrounding its production. It is customary to recite the artist's name, at the very least. Also important is the date of the work's production, and the period or movement to which the work belongs. This is how we might talk about a monochrome painting, for example: ‘It was painted by him; it was painted then, and there - note the way it diverges from his previous work... etc.' This is part of what is called ‘making sense' of the work. We talk about a monochrome as we would any other work, and this seems entirely appropriate; after all, a monochrome is usually made from the same materials as other paintings and shown in the same galleries as other paintings and collected in the same way as other paintings. What might be seen to distinguish the monochrome from other paintings, though, is its inclination towards absolute simplicity. The monochrome offers itself as a zero-degree of painting, the painting of paintings: it distils, as it were, the essence of painting. Of course, in one sense, every painting always contains something of the essence of painting within itself anyway (when we call something a painting, it is essentially a painting). But the monochrome not only wants to be a painting in this way; it also wants to be a painting that points towards its essence as such, that takes as its subject that which is common to every painting. This is why the way we often ‘make sense' of a painting, that is, through historicising it, is both appropriate, and at the same time, utterly misleading, when it comes to the monochrome.

-David Homewood

(image: Elizabeth Newman, Untitled 2012, 190 x 120cm, oil on linen. Courtesy the artist and Neon Parc)

Artwork from exhibition by Raafat Ishak, Alex Rizkalla, and Jason Workman

18 July 2013 - 10 August 2013

Raafat Ishak, Alex Rizkalla, and Jason Workman


Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Compost, a collaborative exhibition by Raafat Ishak, Alex Rizkalla and Jason Workman that explores the broad theme of mortality, and its manifestation in text and image.

For Compost, each artist initially produced a number of works on paper that, variously incorporating found imagery, photomontages, drawings and texts, speak to questions of life and death. These works were then circulated, with Ishak, Rizkalla and Workman taking turns to manipulate, doctor and disfigure the original documents. As an extension of the artists’ regular social gatherings involving food, drink and gardening, this shared creative process brings together a group of artists with mutual interests yet disparate artistic strategies.

Working across painting, installation and site-specific drawing, Raafat Ishak's practice is informed by architecture and his Arabic cultural heritage. Using a formal but understated graphic language, his work is subtle, contemplative and alive to the nuances of cross-cultural dialogue and transit. Recent exhibitions include: Safar/ Voyage, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2013; Terms & Conditions, Singapore Art Museum, 2013; and Alienation, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2012.

Alex Rizkalla’s practice is based on an inquiry into language as it folds into objects and images. He has presented individual exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (1997); Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (1996) and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (1994). Recent group exhibitions include Ocular Lab Inc. 2003-2010, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2012, and Duetto, Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 2010. Alex Rizkalla is represented by Place Gallery. 

Jason Workman is a writer whose interests include psychogeography, DIY architecture, subversive play, herbalism and death. His works of narrative non-fiction and narrative verse have been published in Australia, Canada and the UK. Workman has also self-published eight artist books and essays, some of which have featured in exhibitions at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, California, and Miami-Dade Public Library, Florida.

Artwork from exhibition by Arlo Mountford

14 June 2013 - 06 July 2013

Arlo Mountford

The Copse Part I

The Copse Part I is Arlo Mountford's first individual exhibition at Sutton since joining the gallery in 2012. Presented at Sutton Projects and taking form as installation and animation, The Copse Part I continues Mountford's characteristically whimsical, tangential exploration of art history.

The Copse Part I will present a sculptural replica of a painted tree found in Pieter Bruegel the Elder's Gloomy Day (Early Spring) 1565, a landscape painting that features a copse (a thicket of small trees or shrubs) and details the ordinary lives of sixteenth century Europeans. Chosen as a reference point, in part, for its counter-intuitive relationship to Heidegger's concept of the ‘clearing', Mountford's appropriation of Gloomy Day (Early Spring) is emblematic of the artists' talent for referencing the imagery of iconic art works in inventive and expanded forms.

Accompanying the replica tree is a meandering animation projected onto the gallery's ceiling. Taking visual cues from the physical appearance of the ceiling and space, and referencing previous exhibitions held in the gallery, the animation also draws liberally from moments in 20th century art history. The animation is not didactic or narrative-driven, with Mountford instead creating an imaginative and itinerant interpretation of the physical space and historical context that the work inhabits.

Arlo Mountford is a Melbourne-based artist. He has presented individual exhibitions at Dubbo Regional Gallery, New South Wales (2012); La Trobe University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2011); Shepparton Regional Gallery (2010); Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2009); The Art Centre, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2009); Conical, Melbourne (2008); and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2007).

Artwork from exhibition by Alex Vivian

07 March 2013 - 06 April 2013

Alex Vivian

Dirt Season Lookbook

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Dirt Season Lookbook, an exhibition of new work by Alex Vivian that furthers his investigation into the sculptural and metamorphic possibilities of domestic objects and urban street wear. Working with everyday items sourced from discount and second-hand outlets, Vivian performs transgressive acts of transmutation upon his chosen materials to produce curiously perverse forms. For Dirt Season Lookbook, his abject alterations are applied to hats, bowls, vessels and soft toys. Bleached, distressed with dirt, run over by the wheel of a car, ingrained with sweat stains or put trough the wash with tissue, Vivian's many modifications degrade his objects' common function to the point of putrefaction.

With an understanding of small-scale sculpture and informed by an ongoing engagement with installation, Vivian explores a wide range of ideas relating to masculinity, fashion, design and youth cultures, as well as the interplay between function and failure. His sculpturally poetic works seamlessly mix high and low cultural references, staging minor insurrections between cultural signifiers, form and context. The human body remains a constant reference point throughout his practice, often inferred via bodily traces, imprints and gestures.