Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery presents work by artist Glenn Barkley.
Over the last six months, Barkley has been producing a series of earthenware pots and objects that respond to catastrophic events across Australia. Twenty-six works tell the story of natural disaster from the artist’s perspective.
The title of the exhibition, What do the birds say?, is a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-5’, in which the narrator apologises to his editor for producing a short manuscript. Like birds chirping, the book serves as an unpretentious message demonstrating that life still exists in a devastated world. Vonnegut’s inquisitive bird returns in the very last line of the novel, leaving us with the unanswered question of what life is like in the aftermath of tragedy — life’s most devastating enemy.
Eschewing traditional techniques and forms, Barkley has crafted his own distinctive style that infuses literary quotes and references with embellishments that tell a story. Twigs and prunings join a variety of glazes to create eccentric vessels that respond to the artist’s surroundings. This combination of interests draws upon the artist’s love of reading and literature, gardening and nature, to create messages in Barkley’s bottles.
This exhibition is open by appointment only and will not have an opening night. Please contact the gallery to arrange a suitable viewing time. View exhibition here.