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 Kieren Seymour and Luke Sands

20 November 2014 - 13 December 2014

Kieren Seymour and Luke Sands

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent artworks by Kieren Seymour and Luke Sands created through processes of drawing and painting.

Using a graphics tablet in Photoshop Seymour has produced large scale semi-autobiographical drawings mounted on metal supports depicting figures drinking milk, tripping a house over and finding a dead body in a park.

Sands, using various rat poisons as colorants in mixtures of PVA and acrylic paint, has created wall based, portrait orientated monochromatic forms produced on either MDF, particleboard or aluminium supports.

Luke Sands received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2011. Selected exhibitions include New Argument Stream, curated by David Homewood, Slopes, Melbourne, 2014; 感情警備員ビザ, TCB Art Inc, Melbourne, 2013; Drunk vs. Stoned XIII, Neon Parc, Melbourne, 2013; Group Exhibition: Artwork Documentation, curated by David Homewood, Studio 6, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2013; Great Views, Snake Pit, Auckland, New Zealand, 2012; and 3SQUARE, Conical Inc, Melbourne, 2010.

Kieren Seymour received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2011, and completed a semester at Zurcher Hocshule De Kunste, Zurich, 2010. Selected exhibitions include Martin Kippenberger, Neon Parc, 2014; Best Friend, Worst Friend, TCB Art Inc, 2014; Melbourne Now, Channels, Speakeasy Cinema, 2014; Buridan's Ass, Utopian Slumps Project Space, Melbourne, 2013; Channels, ACMI, 2013; Bonmot, Bus Projects, Melbourne, 2013; Drunk vs. Stoned III, Neon Parc, Melbourne, 2013; Nell, Artbar, (Eye for an Eye feat. Luke Sands' 'Contact lenses for Kieren' & Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself), MCA, Sydney, 2012; and Great Views, Snake Pit, Auckland, 2012.

Artwork from exhibition by Liang Luscombe

23 October 2014 - 15 November 2014

Liang Luscombe

Sailors Three

Sutton Gallery is proud to present Sailors Three, an exhibition that brings together for the first time Luscombe's three strands of practice: furniture-making, painting and ceramics.

Comprised of paintings and ceramics which are hung, leant and embedded in a series of wooden furniture that sit half way between sculpture and functional objects, this body of work is peppered with motifs associated with the ocean and the shoreline. Imagery is drawn from a range of sources including nautical themed clothing worn by the artist, imagery of St Kilda's foreshore where Luscombe attempted plein air, the cartoon character Pop eye the Sailor man as well as other objects that surround Luscombe in her daily life.

While the exhibition muses on current Australian politics played out upon bodies far out on the ocean, Luscombe resolutely situates her observations within her own relatively mild daily experiences in a hope to reconcile her personal narrative within the troubling current political climate. This is amplified by the use of furniture as the framework for ceramic and painting, situating these works within the comfortable and familiar realm of one's domestic space. Moving between representation and abstraction in the paintings, the image of the ocean becomes like a daily reminder of the politics that we are all implicated in.

Connected to this personal narrative, the secondary subject of the exhibition is the figure of the artist and their role more broadly. The paintings in the exhibition present a number of different artistic figures: the amateur artist, the painter tucked away in the studio, or out in the landscape conducting plein air. Luscombe considers the relationship between the figure of the artist and their role in our current political scene to build a series of images that are quietly ambivalent. Additionally, Three Sailors continues Luscombe's investigation into an expanded concept of painting- part sculpture, part furniture, part painting - these works reflect on how painting can have a functional use.

Liang Luscombe completed a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours (Visual) from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University in 2010. Recent solo exhibitions include: Non in Casa, 157 Blyth St, Melbourne, 2013; Bauhaus Fisher Price, TCB art inc., Melbourne, 2012; String Strung Out, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; and Limp Liquidation, Platform ARI; Sample Space, Melbourne, 2010. Selected group exhibitions include: No fond return of love, I.C.A.N., Sydney, 2014; Dear Masato, all at once, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Synonyms for Sincerity, Alaska Projects, Sydney, 2013; Please be quiet, The British School at Rome, Rome, 2013; Spazi Aperti, The Romanian Academy, Rome, 2013; Signature Style, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Navel Gazing, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2013; Fresh Paint, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, 2012; Ménage a Trois, XYZ Gallery Tokyo, 2012; Impossible Objects, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011. Luscombe was the recipient of an Australia Council JUMP Mentorship in 2013 and was mentored by Angela Brennan. She has also held residencies at the Australia Council Studio, British School at Rome in 2013 and PICA Studio Residency in 2011. Luscombe is currently the Program Curator at West Space, Melbourne.

Artwork from exhibition by Benglis 73/74

12 September 2014 - 11 October 2014

Benglis 73/74

Lynda Benglis, Dale Frank, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Robert Morris, Sophie Takách, Lionel Bawden, Elvis Richardson & Virginia Fraser, Stuart Ringholt, John Nixon, Julian Dashper, Ruth O'Leary

Sutton Gallery is proud to present Benglis 73 / 74, a new exhibition in conjunction with Neon Parc and TCB Art Inc, curated by Neon Parc director Geoff Newton.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of Lynda Benglis's notorious advertisement published in the November 1974 issue of Artforum. The advertisement a two-page "centrefold" spread featuring a colour photograph of Benglis appearing naked, oiled and suntanned, sporting only a pair of sunglasses and wielding a huge cast-latex dildo between her thighs originally formed part of a dialogue with friend and collaborator, the artist Robert Morris. Artforum's decision to publish Benglis's advert, however, caused a huge schism within the magazine, ultimately leading associate editors Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson to abandon Artforum and establish October journal, citing that Benglis's advertisement was an object of extreme vulgarity and retarded the women's liberation movement. For others, Benglis's gesture (backed by her dealer Paula Cooper, who arranged for the ads placement) was a staunchly feminist and empowering critique of gender stereotyping in art, as well as a critical exposé of the proximity of art criticism to commerce. As Roberta Smith put it, the ad became a lightning rod for conflicting views of feminism, pornography, editorial (and critical) responsibility, art-world economics, reputation-building and artistic license.

Benglis is best known for her post-Minimalist sculptural works that pioneered the use of materials like polyurethane resin, liquid latex and molten metals, and which took on distinctly non-hardedge forms like flows, blobs, drips and smears. In her use of lurid colours, organic shapes and liquid form materials, Benglis subverted the industrial aesthetic of Minimalism and its perceived relation to masculinity. Today, the essentialist binary pairings of man/woman, hard/soft, mechanic/organic have themselves become a subject of critique.

This new exhibition, Benglis 73 / 74, explores the resonances of such terms forty years on from the historic Artforum incident. It examines the way conceptions of gender, abstraction, sculpture, installation and the body have developed since the mid 1970s, and how these ideas have, in turn, shaped contemporary art. It takes place across three venues - Sutton Projects, Neon Parc and TCB Art Inc. - and features work by Australian and international artists.

Special event: Lecture by Toby Juliff, Critical mumble: Benglis, Morris and an object of extreme vulgarity, an art historical overview of the 1974 Benglis ad that analyses the image in the context of Artforum, the series of exchanges between Benglis and Robert Morris before and after the 74 ad, and the reception of the advertisement (including the founding of October). To be held at Sutton Projects on Saturday 20th September 2-3pm.


Artwork from exhibition by Helen Johnson

02 August 2014 - 30 August 2014

Helen Johnson

Time Flies

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Time Flies, an exhibition of recent work by Helen Johnson. "This exhibition presents a group of paintings peppered with Australian motifs: the thief, the ocean, the island, the saboteur. Seen together the works fall into an open conversation that refuses a straight narrative: the aim is to leave the viewer with questions more than answers."(I)
This collection of paintings continues Johnson's considerations of the relationship between the motif and the mark, creating open, gestural spaces punctuated with figurative elements derived from internet stock images, cartoons, and paintings from the renaissance and romantic periods.

In Going upon the sneak, the figure of a cartoon robber, instantly recognizable by his striped t-shirt and masked face, sneaks across a ragged abstract cube, eyeing the painterly terrain of the canvas. A dichotomy between the figurative and the abstract reveals itself through the folly of the cartoon figure which confuses the ‘sincere' register of the abstract marks. Ex-execs similarly takes its inspiration from a parade of internet stock images of the thief: what begins with the figurative execution of a parade of thieves succumbs to Johnson's intuitive painting process, resulting in a work in which bold abstract brushstrokes are at the fore, a canvas in which the thief becomes the ground, as petty theft grounded the convict colony: a place with a history of being "roamed by rascals and outlaws" as China's Global Times so aptly described Australia recently.(II)

The Island paintings are at once aesthetically agreeable, with their pastel palettes and decorative stylizations, and tightly neurotic, with their complex masking and strictly contained areas of colour and texture. These paintings, in their uptight prettiness, hover on the periphery, not quite allowing themselves to be read as paradises,(III) inhabiting a space between attraction and repulsion that mirrors the island's place in the Australian unconscious: at once a paradise and a place of brutal incarceration. True Gifts and Free Facts continues this thread, a disorienting composition set against an ocean backdrop: in one orientation a portly, happy-go-lucky white male artfully hauls himself aboard while in another he becomes the figure of an infant before a pair of reclining women, their form taken from Raphael's Madonna dell'Impannata (1513-14), though here they look not upon the figure of the blessed infant, but with a discerning gaze toward the horizon.

Helen Johnson has exhibited regularly with Sutton Gallery since 2007. Recent individual exhibitions include: Time Enough for Love, Chapter House Lane, Melbourne, 2013; Meantime, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Air to Surface: Parker Ito and Helen Johnson (with Parker Ito), curated by Liv Barrett, Prism, Los Angeles, 2013; Dead Metaphor, ACME Project Space, London, 2012; Universal Remote, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; and System Preferences, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2011. Johnson has also contributed to a number of significant group exhibitions both locally and internationally, including: Wavy Banners Project, curated by Karen Havskov Jensen and Klavs Weiss, ET4U, Denmark, 2013; Collage: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2013; Negotiating This World: Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2012; Chinatown: the sequel, LTD Los Angeles, 2012; Art & Australia Collection 2003 - 2013, Newcastle Art Gallery, New South Wales, 2012; Stick It! Collage in Australia Art, The Ian Potter Center: National Gallery of Victoria, 2010; The Independence Project, Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, 2007; Present Future, Artissima, Turin, 2007; Octopus 6, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2006; and New06, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2006. Johnson has undertaken international studio residencies in London, Norway and Germany. She was also a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary between 2003 and 2005, and Artspace, Sydney, in 2012.


(I) Helen Johnson, artist statement 2014
(II) "Julie Bishop ‘appalled Chinese people', state-run newspaper says" in The Guardian online, 14/07/14,
(III) Helen Johnson, artist statement 2014




Artwork from exhibition by Toby Pola

04 July 2014 - 26 July 2014

Toby Pola

We Outnumber You

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present We Outnumber You, a collection of wood carved sculptures imbued with a sense of nostalgia, black humour and craftsmanship.

We Outnumber You exhibits a new series of work by Pola that extends his current practice dealing with Australian suburban vernacular into a more raw and degraded aesthetic, creating pop sculptures that rather than appearing kitsch or glossy, seem dinged, bruised and faded with time.

Pola presents these sculptural objects in the form of a collection of oversized ornaments and mementos. The sculptures mirror the type of toys, bric-a-brac and junk collected by teenagers to decorate their bedrooms and the memorabilia collections typical of adults in a state of nostalgic arrested development. The perverted iconography explored travels from a degraded leaky mickey mouse figurine to a burnt out plastic gorilla, a mutated siamese soft serve ice-cream and death metal incarnation of Jesus. Highlighting the craft of gestural carving into jelutong wood, this choice of material sits at odds against the cheap, artificial and lurid veneers usually associated with the caricatures on display.

Toby Pola completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1993. Recent solo exhibitions include dropout, Craft Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; life sux then you die, West Space, Melbourne, 2012; and They hate us, we hate them, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012. Pola has also participated in numerous group shows in spaces around Melbourne including, West Space, Death Be Kind and TCB art Inc. He has received awards from the Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria (1991), the Theodor Urbach Encouragement Award (1992) and the George Hicks Award (1993). Pola is currently making work in Melbourne and exhibiting locally and interstate. His work exists in various private and public collections.

Artwork from exhibition by Elizabeth Street Studios

11 June 2014 - 14 June 2014

Elizabeth Street Studios


Sutton Gallery is pleased to support Elizabeth, an exhibition of editioned works with proceeds going directly towards the creation of the Elizabeth Street artist studios in Kensington. The exhibition will feature work by all artists who will be working in the studios, whose practices engage a broad range of conceptual positions and material processes including sculpture, photography, painting, garment production and jewelry.

Artists include;
Adelle Mills, Alex Vivian, Articles of Clothing, Ash Kilmartin, Christo Crocker, Clementine Edwards, Elena Betros, Helen Johnson, James Eisen, Joshua Petherick, Juliet Rowe, Kate Smith, Lucina Lane, Matthew Linde, Nellie Reinhard and Nic Tammens

Artwork from exhibition by Susan Long

09 May 2014 - 31 May 2014

Susan Long


Sutton Gallery is pleased to present START, an installation and photo book by Susan Long that explores the archive and the unstable materiality of original artifacts and their stored copy/record.

START sees Long engaging with the archival process of museum and library collections which hold incalculable quantities of historical documents: photographs, books, pamphlets, manuscripts, newspapers, typescripts, letters, diagrams, plans, maps, diaries, drawings, and calculations - all of which for logistical reasons, are recorded and stored on 35mm film. 

Through interrogating this process Long reveals that when working with microfilmed archive, two elements of the original and its record integrate and separate at the same time. Even as the original manuscript remains perceptible, qualities of the film itself engage the eye and a second reading of the object emerges. The microfilm record is bound with the identical markers of conventional filmmaking – START, END, reinforcing a parallel filmic interpretation with the promise of narrative.

Artist in attendance on Saturday 10 May.

Susan Long is a Melbourne based artist and film maker and is currently Librarian, Pictures Collection at the State Library of Victoria. She received a Master of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 2000. Selected exhibitions include: Peoples’ Palace, Group Show Joyce McGrath Gallery, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Archive,  A photo journal sourced from the archives of the State Library of Victoria, 2013; This One Is For You, Techno Park Studios, Williamstown, 2012; Self Portrait, Joyce McGrath Gallery, State Library of Victoria, 2012; Big Sky, photographic installation, Techno Park Studios, Williamstown, 2009; Pass, Centre Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 2005; The Past, West Space, Melbourne, 2002; Flaming Muses, Performance Space, Sydney, 2002.


Artwork from exhibition by Ry Haskings

20 February 2014 - 22 March 2014

Ry Haskings

Thammasat fuel fabrication

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Thammasat Fuel Fabrication, an installation by Ry Haskings informed by the artists' interest in unfinished narratives and improvisatory research methodology.

Thammasat Fuel Fabrication sees Haskings create a collaged environment in Sutton's Project Space that layers together handmade elements such as an etching, screen prints, and film stills together with large-scale building fixtures and materials, to create a highly complex yet engaging conceptual installation.

Haskings uses this expanded spatial form to construct a non-linear narrative that involves distinct political events; in this instance, variously referencing Karen Silkwood (a labor union activist who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant in Oklahoma), the 1976 Thammasat University Massacre (an attack on students and protesters in Bangkok demonstrating against a military takeover of Thailand) and the Millionaires Walk at Sorrento in Victoria.Each of these historical moments is drawn from research undertaken by Haskings in a chain-like manner, with one event leading him to the next via subjective or intuitive links and reasoning.

Ry Haskings is currently completing a PhD (Fine Art) at Monash University, Melbourne. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, in 2000. Selected individual exhibitions include: Burros Ballot, TCB artinc., Melbourne, 2010; Real archive loose warpaint, White Street Project, Melbourne, 2010; Unpacked bucket llama chute, Shepparton Art Museum, Victoria, 2010; and Backtrack (AKA Catchfire), Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009. Recent group exhibitions include: Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; In the Cut, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2013; Sub12, The Substation, Melbourne, 2012; Self-conscious: Contemporary Portraiture, Monash University Museum of Art, 2012; Ménage à Trios, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington, 2012; Whatever works, db project, Sydney, 2010; Far point..., Sydney Non Objective, Sydney, 2010; and Agitation Free, RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, 2009.