Man Carrying Cloud, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 120cm by162 cm

Barry Tate

Opens 4th November 2017

Fox Galleries is proud to present This is Colony, a solo by artist and master ceramicist Barry Tate, featuring glazed stone and earthenware sculptures and mixed-media paintings that ask—what will become of Australia?

Tate has been selected as a finalist in the 2018 Western Sydney University Sculpture Awards and Exhibition for his forthcoming sculptural installation, which is a continuation of the new body of work.

The sculptural works complicate the Western notion of progress by alluding to 18th century English follies—orna-mental consequences of colonialism and globalisation—engaging a compilation of decorative styles, from Neoclassical to Rococo Revival.

Tate, who lived in Japan for several years and trained in Japanese ceramic practices, has infused the reverence of nature from Shinto philosophy into the totemic works, as well as the Indigenous Australian understanding of Country, “a person’s land, sea, sky, rivers, sites, seasons, plants and animals; place of heritage, belonging and spirituality.”

The grape recurs across the pieces as a resonant symbol, used in Ancient Greek art to indicate the advancement of society through cultivation and trade, and as a central feature of still life studies across Western painting, which developed in tandem with the reduction of agricultural labour. With the non-native fruit spilling out from the tops, each pillar becomes a cornucopia representing the great abundance of the land, or a trophy for the advancement of civilization.

Instead these are Barry Tate, monuments to the complexities of contemporary, postcolonial Australia, compelling the viewer to question who enjoys the fruits of the labour in this former penal colony, and how long it will be till the ever-growing economic bubble bursts.

A new short documentary on Barry Tate will accompany the exhibition, illuminating his rigorous methodology and the sheer physicality behind traditional, large-scale ceramic sculpture making using a wood-fired kiln. Go inside the artist’s studio and hear from Tate himself about his practice, themes, influences and inspiration.

Barry Tate
Man Carrying Cloud , 2017

Acrylic on canvas, 120cm by 162 cm

Barry Tate
This is Colony VI, 2017

Earthenware ceramic, 15cm by 50cm by 50cm

Barry Tate
This is Colony V, 2017

Earthenware ceramic, 70cm by 30cm by 30 cm

Barry Tate
This is Colony IV , 2017

Earthenware ceramic, 70cm by 28cm by 28cm

Barry Tate
This is Colony III , 2017

Glazed stoneware ceramic, 120cm by 60cm by 60cm