29 July to 3 September 2009
Curator: Kyla McFarlane
"First trawl your area collecting up discarded materials. Start to build something from them. A shed. A shack. A fort. A dwelling. Whatever, it’s yours. Build it somewhere hard to find. Preferably in the forest but a city alleyway would suffice too. Hunker down and decorate. Make it safe. Surround the hut with booby traps and hang charms to ward off evil. Sustain yourself with meals of mushrooms boiled with bark. When you’re done with it walk away without looking back or push it over with your bare hands and stand back grinning at the big ‘WHUMP!’"
– Jess Johnson, Home Is Where My Hell Is
Co-directors of Hell Gallery and occasional artistic collaborators Jess Johnson and Jordan Marani present a new exhibition following their artists’ residency at Monash University’s Gippsland Centre for Art and Design in April 2009. Dredging through the detritus of their own and others’ lives, Johnson and Marani draw on shared obsessions including comic books, doom metal, overdue bills and talkback radio. For Switchback Gallery, they will create a ‘hothouse environment … incorporating installation, sculpture, drawing, collage and a soundtrack too. A polyglottal simmering of words, images, shared memories, fantasies, associations and neuroses.’
Jess Johnson was born in 1979 in Tauranga, New Zealand. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2001.
Recent exhibitions, with Jordan Marani, include Who Cut The Cheese? Two Giants of Contemporary Art Talk Frankly of Monumental Tasks, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne, 2009;Hellraiser: The Director’s Cut, Hell Gallery, Melbourne, 2008 and This Is Not A Love Schlong, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2007. Her group exhibitions include I Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2009; Robert Jacks Drawing Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Victoria; Honk if you Love Contemporary Art, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane 2008 and Zonal Marx – A Drawing Project, Victorian College of the Arts Gallery, Melbourne, 2007.
Johnson’s comics have featured in Runway Magazine, Australia; Plintub Comic Anthology, Belgium, Que Suerte, Spain; BOYCRAZY Comic Anthology and Aotearoa Comics, New Zealand. As a writer Johnson has contributed to several publications including Un Magazine, SPEECH and IsNot Magazine. She is also a founding member of curatorial collective PILOT (with Rosemary Forde and Meredith Turnbull) and a founding committee member of Victoria Park Gallery, Abbotsford, Melbourne.
Jordan Marani was born in 1965 in Melbourne. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting), Victoria College, Prahran in 1990 and was a studio artist at 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne from 1991-2.
Recent exhibitions include Who Cut the Cheese? Two Giants of Contemporary Art Talk Frankly of Monumental Tasks, with Jess Johnson, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne 2009; Flux Capacitor, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne; Honk if You Love Contemporary Art Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane 2008 and This is not a Love Schlong, with Jess Johnson, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2007.
Johnson & Marani's Gippsland residency was supported by Monash University’s Gippsland Centre for Art and Design and Monash University Museum of Art.