Alternating Current Art Space is proud to present the opening of its inaugural Graduate Award exhibition Bloom on 29 March at 6pm. A showcase of the new, Bloom features the work of six recent Honours and Masters graduates from RMIT University, the Victorian College of the Arts and Monash University. Featuring artists Rowand Taylor, Te’ Claire, Georgie North, Nathan Stolz, Eliza Cotton and Madison Elrick, the exhibition highlights the diversity in contemporary arts practice today.

Established to assist artists in their ventures post-university studies, Bloom looks to introduce audiences to the next crop of practitioners working in Melbourne today. Selected by faculty staff of their respective institutions, this award exhibition endeavours to provide a platform in which to support the practices of these early career artists.

Working across sculpture, installation, painting, photography and mixed media, all artists display a keen awareness in the potency of their chosen medium. Through marks that ebb and flow across the canvas surface, the practice of Georgie North is concerned with how things are. ‘Through observing what one ‘adheres’ to visually, the works are an attempt to both welcome and disrupt the recognition of the pictorial and semiotic.’ For North, painting provides a means through which to explore how visual experiences induce effect; how diversity in paint application and spatial contradictions can alter the ways in which we see or react.

In a similar way, Rowand Taylor looks to demystify photographic representations via a series of large scale works that speak to our relationship with the natural environment. Combined with Taylor’s use of light and colour to relay the vibrancy of the Australian landscape, images are pasted onto canvas with vestiges of their marks exhibiting a painterly appearance. In so doing, the artist subtly suggests that a greater interaction to the land is possible beyond these images.

Following this, the photographic practice of Nathan Stolz investigates the complicated constellation of gender, class and race that are inextricably interwoven into the Australian landscape. Concerned with ideas relating to identity and place, the series relays a febrile mix of histories and ideologies that speak of a yet still- young nation’s search for identity. A tension fuelled narrative, Stolz artfully captures the multifaceted and complex story of this ancient land.

From the photographic investigations of Stolz and Taylor, the multi-disciplinary practice of Eliza Cotton engages with the relationships that exist between materials and their interconnected forms. Here, Cotton interrogates how an ‘environmentalism-fuelled art practice can be created without imposing on the very thing it is attempting to generate dialogue about.’ Derived exclusively from materials and found objects from previous projects by the artist, Cotton examines the conflict that exists between concern for the environment and the anthropocentric, seeking to limit the impact of her own practice through reconstitution and reuse.

The raw anthropomorphic sculptures of Te’ Claire challenge the traditional medium of clay by ‘confronting, transforming and reevaluating the imperfect notion of “the Vessel” as an autonomous object.’ The transformation of the representational object into something purely material is at the heart of Te’ Claire’s practice, the use of new and unconventional techniques proving key. Through collapsed and deconstructed forms that explore narratives of anxiety and trauma, Te’ Claire relays the physical and psychological symptoms of unease on the human body.

The practice of Madison Elrick is driven largely by the witnessing of the banal or the inappropriate. Through the incorporation of humour and the absurd, Elrick’s sculptures act as translations to a particular scene or character, in this case, an interaction between father and daughter involving human faeces. Discomforting and silent at first, the performative qualities lead eventually to the realization that these objects are in fact banal and unspectacular.