Exhibition: To Do

A review

by Chloé Wolifson

Gail Hastings’ major new work Exhibition: To Do is anchored around a large square plywood structure that sits on the earth’s axis – the walls respectively facing north, south, east and west.

The visitor is invited to enter the structure, also entitled Exhibition: To Do, via an opening in its eastern wall. This has the effect of placing the viewer at the centre of Hastings’ universe. The surrounding construction is an assemblage of partitions of varying height, which expand incrementally and symmetrically on the pre-existing dimensions of the plywood (18 millimetres thick).

Only once standing inside the work, Exhibition: To Do, can the visitor view three works on paper created specifically to sit inside the structure. Hastings’ two-dimensional works appear to act as blueprints or drafts for the sculptural components of the artist’s practice, both in the sense of their execution but also their subject matter.

Delicately rendered in watercolour with ruled pencil lines emerging from the edges of the translucent wash, these pieces depict the To Do list in question. One such reminder, the instruction: ‘Build racks in which to store the art after the exhibition’, speaks volumes about the established systems of the art world, and the particular approach artists must take when they create work which sits outside the conventionally commercial.

Exhibition: To Do is grounded in an awareness of space. It is a show which, while rooted in existing patterns and geometries, maintains a sense of humanity and emotion within each ruled, sawed, sanded and watercoloured line.

Excerpt from Chloé Wolifson, ‘Gail Hastings – Exhibition: To Do’, in Deborah Stone (ed.), Visual Arts Hub: Reviews, 2014, http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/visual-arts/exhibition-to-do-243240, accessed 23 September 2016.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Date: 11/Apr/2014 to 10/May/2014
At: The Commercial, Sydney
List of Works: by Gail Hastings
Exhibition: To Do
Corner caretakers
Space of a five page plot
Bibliography: Judith Blackall, ‘Gail Hastings: Sculptuations’, in Michael Fitzgerald (ed.), Art Monthly Australia, issue 272, 2014, pp.40–3. Chloé Wolifson, Gail Hastings – Exhibition: To Do’, in Deborah Stone (ed.), Visual Arts Hub: Reviews, 2014, http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/reviews/visual-arts/exhibition-to-do-243240, accessed 23 September 2016.

Exhibition: To Do


The Commercial

Dir: Amanda Rowell
148 Abercrombie St
Redfern NSW 2016

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