RITA 4: Décor Drive comprises an eroticised tableau of sculptural prototypes by John Meade, lustrous ceramics by potter Reg Preston, soft-spatial furnishings by Jeremy Eaton, and collage and display works by Meredith Turnbull. Instigated by the suggestive rims of Preston’s vessels and their affinity with Meade’s 3D-printed models for the series Objects to live by, and extended through the interior décor-oriented research works of Eaton and Turnbull, RITA 4: Décor Drive frames the impulse that leads these artists to create, collect, research and display objects as latently erogenous.
The material, historic and psychosexually tiered setting integrates Preston and Meade’s works amongst tables and wallpaper by Turnbull developed over the last decade as part of a project that considers objects as both co-workers and culture made manifest, interposed with a curtain by Eaton that forensically reconstructs a now obscure fabric designed by Australian artist James Gleeson in the 1940s.
The range of objects and furnishings in the exhibition find connections across the domestic space, commodity culture, design rigour and the constructed tension between art and craft, scaffolding RITA’s inaugural project within a taut, libidinal mesh.
RITA is a four–part collaborative curatorial project by Andrew Atchison and Jeremy Eaton that is inspired by the approach to practice of American artist Rita Mcbride, who has generously designed the RITA logo.
Combining the rigours of geometry with soft organic forms, John Meade works in an intuitive way to materialise his ideas, creating tightly orchestrated pieces that explore the metaphysical, the surreal and the erotic. Meade’s superior use of colour, material, and surface, culminate in eccentric and immaculate sculptures that claim their space with a formidable presence.
Born in Ballarat in 1956, Naarm/Melbourne-based sculptor John Meade is one of Australia’s leading artists and has held regular exhibitions with galleries and museums since 1995.
John Meade is a Sutton Gallery represented artist, this project was supported by the RMIT Foundation, the Polymer Technology Centre of RMIT, and Jan van Schaik.
Meredith Turnbull is a Melbourne based artist, curator and writer. She completed a Bachelor of Art (Honours) in Art History at LaTrobe University, a Bachelor of Fine Art (Gold and Silversmithing) at RMIT University, and a PhD at Monash University in the field of Sculpture and Spatial Practice.
Meredith has developed projects for the National Gallery of Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University. Recent works include the performance What does wearing something do? with Behn Woods at RMIT Design Hub in 2019 and the exhibition SHE TURNS at c3 Contemporary Art Space in 2017. Her artworks have been acquired for numerous private and select public collections including MUMA, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the Ian Potter Museum at the University of Melbourne.
In 2022 M: 33 published Meredith Turnbull: Objects a survey of 14 years of photographs of Meredith’s constructed tableaux.
Meredith Turnbull is represented by Daine Singer, Melbourne.
Andrew Atchison is an artist based in Melbourne/Naarm and a recent studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary. Atchison works across multiple artforms and has ongoing critical interests in queer identity formation, language, public art, and the aesthetics of withholding.
He has exhibited at Gertrude Contemporary, LON Gallery, Incinerator Gallery, Testing Grounds, Greenwood Street Projects, Light Projects, First Draft Sydney, West Space, Kings ARI, Seventh, First Site Gallery, and Next Wave and Midsumma Festivals. In 2018 he completed a Master of Fine Arts (research) at MADA, Monash University.
In 2021 he curated Education Space: Creating Art in Public as part of the exhibition Who’s Afraid of Public Space? at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), and in 2019 curated and published a catalogue for the exhibition …(illegible)… at MADA Faculty Gallery.
Jeremy Eaton is a Naarm/Melbourne based artist, curator and writer. Eaton is the Managing Editor of Art + Australia, Deputy Chair of un Projects and is currently a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne. Eaton has exhibited widely and written for artists, museums and publications across the country. Recent exhibitions include Fairy curated by Melissa Deerson and Spiros Panigirakis, Beach Boys a solo presentation at LON Gallery for PHOTO2022 International Festival of Photography and through the hand to the mouth exhibited at Bundoora Homestead in 2021. He has contributed catalogue essays to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ian Potter Museum of Art and Gertrude Contemporary. He has also written for Art + Australia, MeMo Review, Runway Magazine and un Magazine.
Jeremy Eaton is represented by LON Gallery, Melbourne.John Meade’s profile Exhibition text