Elizabeth Gower Savings

7 October –
6 November 2010

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Savings by Elizabeth Gower. This exhibition consists of two bodies of work, Cuttings (from New York) and Savings. Each expands on the artist’s exploration of everyday print matter which is abundantly available, easily accumulated and characterises something of the transitory nature of affluent 21st century life.

Gower’s work consistently involves the collection and collation of materials, images and data into systems of order. For Cuttings (from New York), papers were gleaned exclusively from the streets outside the Australia Council Green Street studio in SoHo during Gower’s residency. Cuttings are assembled to create complex geometric systems and patterns that are visually disrupted by traces of text from the original merchandising material. These dynamic angular works reference both the gridded networks of urban planning and the architectural and design prowess exemplified across the building facades of New York City.

The accompanying Savings series is reminiscent of quilting in both the complexity of design and the process of gathering fragments which have a distinct relevance to a place and time. Gower’s fragments of food packaging, advertising brochures and cuttings from magazines are salvaged from her own domestic environment and urban surrounds. She creates remarkable compositions, featuring intricate patterns and a refined use of colour. Savings acknowledges the artists focused collection of samples amidst the universal, incessant accumulation of debris, and also pays homage to the ubiquitous term ‘savings’ which litters the pages of advertising paraphernalia.

Gower has had over 30 one-person exhibitions throughout Australia and overseas. She has participated in many major group exhibitions including the Sydney Biennale, Art Gallery of NSW 1978, Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of NSW 1981 and 1985, Isolaustralia at Gallery Lillo, Italy 1984, Backlash, Australian Drawing Revival, National Gallery of Victoria 1987, Moet & Chandon touring exhibition 1988, Embracing Space, Art Gallery of Western Australia 1991, Inherited Absolute, ACCA 1992, Reference Points, Art Gallery of Queensland 1994, Gramacy Art Fair, New York 1997, Australian Perspecta, MCA, Sydney 1998, Clemenger Art Award, Heide Museum of Modern Art, 1999, ARCO Contemporary Art Fair, Madrid 2002, Fieldwork, Ian Potter Centre, NGV: Australia 2003. Most recently Material Afterlife, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Michigan, 2009, Live in the limo, AC Institute program at the Armory Fair, Imaging the Apple, AC Institute, New York, and Stick it! Australian Collage, NGV: Australia, 2010.

Artist’s profile