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Creature Feature

Bernadette Burke

MONSTROSITY GALLERY: Monstrosity’s new group show ‘Creature Featur’e is like entering a very funky house of horrors.
Creature Feature
Monstrosity’s new group show Creature Feature is like entering a very funky house of horrors. The quirky showcase is an impressively high standard, but way too much fun to be for art wankers. Curator Rebecca Murphy brings together a diverse range of works in painting, drawing, sculpture and digital imaging, crammed into every nook of the gallery in tasty colours. Perhaps not so tasty were the hors d’oeuvres served on opening night: silk worms, crickets and other edible insects along with green slime beverages. A good start to Murphy’s intention of having a show, in her words, that is “…creepy, gory, taxidermy, kitsch!” The works in the front room of the gallery could well have been borrowed from Wednesday Adams’ bedroom. Sam Octigan’s Untitled is a beautifully rendered, Dark-Crystal-inspired pencil drawing; Zan Von Zed’s Olivia a gorgeous oil portrait of a melancholic half woman, half creature; and Dan Whithey’s Frank a psychedelic, acrylic Frankenstein. Lauren Carney’s detailed comic book style illustrations are stunning, alongside Sol’s compelling graphic image - Never Alone (A cup of tea) printed on cotton rag. Room two houses the works of extreme sizes: tiny through to enormous. Nigel Sense’s tongue in cheek Proper sits grandly upon an entire wall, opposite an assortment of miniscule, comical critters, sculpted by various artists; floating nearby are some disturbing fur works by West (they look like the cookie monster’s remains); and completing the circle, slightly frightening (but curiously cute) oil painted creatures by Yulia Pustoshkina. Finally the back room beckons. Here is housed the juxtaposed felt work Skull fuck! by prolific Sydney street artist Cupco. Some of Dr Rev’s work is here too- striking realist images painted in the artist’s blood. On opening night he was also signing blood autographs. (Don’t worry, he seals them up so it stays hygienic!) I couldn’t resist asking him the obvious question: “Why?” to which Rev replied “For a giggle, something different!” Well, the choice of medium certainly is different, and that made me giggle. It’s probably also a good summary of most of the works in the show. Even the abovementioned are only a slice of the smorgasbord on display at Monstrosity this month. Featuring an array of excellent works by emerging artists at affordable prices, this show could possibly hold gift ideas for that arty type this Christmas. But even if only to experience the thrill of seeing some oddball paraphernalia, it worth taking a walk on this wild side. Creature Feature runs until Friday 17th December, 2010. Gallery hours Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm.
What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

I am a radio presenter/producer, writer and curator from Sydney, Australia. My creative career began as a roadie/lighting assistant, and eventually I became a live sound engineer, working freelance in Sydney, then at the renowned 12 Bar Club in London, U.K. Moving on to interviewing bands, reviewing gigs, albums and writing music features later was a beautiful, natural progression for me. I am now a full time freelance music journalist working across print, online, radio and video production. More info: www.bernieburke.org

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