Tolarno Galleries is pleased to present Brendan Huntley’s first solo exhibition.
Make Yourself at Home is an ambitious show; not only in terms of the significant number of works - 20 paintings and 23 sculptures - but because the new works mark a significant point of development in Huntley’s practice. As Francis E. Parker writes, Huntley’s characters are taking on more of their own form, retaining their familiar origins but growing ever more imaginative.
All faces and heads with enormous character and individuality staring at us with dark unblinking eyes, each work invites a personal, emotional response. As the saying goes, eyes are the window to the soul. Whether, in placing their eyes, Huntley uncovers the souls in his objects and paintings or gently guides them into being, it is in these apertures that their life force seems to be contained. Before any appraisal of colour, form or texture can be made, you must let them look you in the eye.
Francis. E Parker, Curator, Monash University Museum of Art 2011
Brendan Huntley revels equally in painting and sculpture. In the gallery, the sculptures face off against the paintings on a level playing field; eye to eye across the space. The works are spirited and rebellious. Huntley twists and breaks every rule associated with traditional ceramic techniques and he makes paintings on paper, using oil stick and pastel, which appear to be bursting out of their frames.
Make Yourself at Home sees the sculptures sitting casually on plinths that resemble bedrooms drawers. As Francis E. Parker suggests, this reference to the home brings its warmth to the exhibition, enlivening the works’ interaction with each other as well as with us. It is in this interaction between the works themselves that we witness the particular chemistry that is Brendan Huntley’s trademark touch.
Born in 1982, Brendan Huntley lives and works in Melbourne. He has previously exhibited in a number of artist-run spaces and his work was recently included in New Pyschedelia at the University of Queensland Art Museum and Disorder, Disorder at Penrith Regional Gallery, New South Wales.
He is the lead singer of the band Eddie Current Suppression Ring which won the Australian Music Prize in 2009 for the album Primary Colours. Huntley’s work is represented in the British Museum, Monash University Museum of Art, Shepparton Art Museum and University of Queensland Art Museum.