Rosslynd Piggott and Rudi Williams Mirror, mirror

22 June –
20 July 2024

Installation view
Rosslynd Piggott and Rudi Williams
Mirror, mirror, 2024
Sutton Gallery, Melbourne

Photography Andrew Curtis

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Mirror, mirror, a two-person exhibition between artists Rosslynd Piggott and Rudi Williams.

Considering surface, duration and the documentation of interior atmospheres, the exhibition Mirror, mirror is a long-term study of Rosslynd Piggott’s pivotal diptych series Mirror, mirror I-III (2008-2009). Comprised of a slumped, mirrored glass panel and a textured, palladium gilt canvas, this archival work encapsulates Piggott’s enduring fascination with unclear mirrors. Functioning as an elusive conduit to both reflect and distort the self and one’s surroundings, the mirror’s distorted membrane calls into question the veracity of its surface while attending to the physical and material qualities of an object that is beholden to its environment. 

Alongside Mirror, mirror I, Rudi Williams exhibits a series of photographs depicting the contorted reflections cast in Mirror, mirror I-III (2008-2009) within Rosslynd Piggott’s installations and interior spaces. Captured between 2013-2024, these photographs function as both documents of Piggott’s interiors and as abstracted distillations of the liquified space reflected in the glass. The frames distill a tension between the fixed and the ephemeral, the abstract and figurative, further contemplating duration and context as well as the aura and myth that surrounds art objects, interiors and the artist. 

For Rosslynd Piggott, Mirror, mirror I-III is a profound cornerstone of her intricate engagement with glass as a medium. Since 2012, her collaboration with master artisans from Murano, Venice, and the Veneto region has remained a steadfast element within her studio practice. Rudi Williams’ elliptical and layered images often depict reflections and visual anomalies; her exhibitions use historic and contemporary photographic forms to contemplate concepts of memory, pace, the passing of time and the archive. She has been committed to learning historic photographic processes since 2016, when she first started making Becquerel Daguerreotypes, to understand the history of photography through practice. 

Slow and intuitive, this presentation is an abstract and temporal record of an intergenerational dialogue. A testament to both artist’s shared interests and long friendship, Mirror, mirror examines surface to appreciate the anomalies and residues that emerge when working with historic processes. 

Rudi Williams

Born in Italy, 1993, Rudi Williams is an artist and teacher based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her practice is centred around learning historic and contemporary image-making processes to create works from her archive of still and moving, analogue and digital images which the artist has been making since 2008. Williams’ exhibitions often pair and contrast images taken at different times in disparate places, with varying photographic forms to contemplate her own history and heritage in relation to concepts of memory, pace, the passing of time and the archive. Her work is elliptical and layered, often depicting reflections, visual anomalies, distorted architectural details and residue of human presence on surfaces. These individual works are woven together to construct site specific installations; constellations that dissect the mechanisms of image making as sculptural forms to reference the history and legacy of representation and the context images are read in.

In 2022, Williams made a short experimental film titled Breath with pianist and composer Grace Ferguson. The film uses a blend of super 8 and digital formats to coalesce with high and low fidelity sound recordings of compositions made by Ferguson between 2017-2020. Breath explores the tension between the planned and practiced and what remains out of our control to consider the relationship between people, their environments and the unknown. 

Recent exhibitions and public commissions include The National 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), Sydney, 2023, Melbourne NowSlippery Images, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2023; Vantage Point (public art commission for Metro Tunnel), Melbourne, 2021; unfixed: σκιά σκιά σκιά ombra ombra ombra shadow shadow shadow, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2021.

Rosslynd Piggott

For four decades, Rosslynd Piggott has maintained a prolific practice that encompasses – and often combines – painting, drawing, photography, hand-blown glass and installation. Enlisting a sophisticated materiality, technique and sense of colour, Piggott recalls the fragile, ephemeral qualities observable in the natural world to signal the inner realm of emotion, memory and imagination. Slow and deliberate, her work makes palpable that which lies just beyond our tangible reality.

Selected solo exhibitions: Realm-peripheral scenes, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2023; Selected Works, with Nusra Latif Qureshi, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2020; I sense you, but I cannot see you, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2019; Gardenia, gardenia and vapour window, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2019; Selected Works: 19876 – 1997, Sutton Projects, Melbourne, 2019; Mirror Shift (doubled), Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2017; Garden Fracture/Mirror shift: part 2, Museo del Vetro, Murano, Italy, 2017; Garden Fracture: Mirror in vapour, Venice Art Factory, Venice, 2016; Last light/in vapour, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2015; Scent notations + ether and collapse: part 2, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Murmur, The Johnston Collection, Melbourne, 2013; Scent Notations + Ether and Collapse, William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney, 2012; Dividing Infinity: A Room for Painting, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Healesville, 2011; Measuring Night – new paintings and mirrors, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; Several types of flight – letters to the sky, Gallery 360 Degrees, Tokyo, 2009;  Extract: in 3 parts, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat, 2009; Circling Ether, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; Extract: in 3 parts, ACCA, Melbourne, 2008; Storm 2 Tracing Sky and Island, EbisuSpace, Tokyo, 2006; Dividing Infinity, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2006.

Selected group exhibitions: Hair Pieces, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2024; A Space Between, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2024; Spacingout, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 2023; Air, QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2023; wHole, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2023; XXX: Celebrating 30 Years of Sutton Gallery, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2022; Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2020; Bloom, Spring 1883, Melbourne, 2018; Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2017; A discernible air, QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2017; Contemporary Murano Glass Art, Murano Glass Museum, Venice, 2016; Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2015; Animal arch, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 2014; Mix Tape 1980’s: Appropriation, Subculture, Critical Style, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Reading the Space: Contemporary Australian Drawing 4, New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, New York, 2013; Ten Years of Contemporary Art – The James C Sourris Collection, QAGOMA, Brisbane, 2012; Negotiating this World: Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2012; Fountains and Drains, The British School at Rome, Italy, 2011; Forever Young: 30 years of the Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2011.

Rosslynd Piggott’s profile