‘Bedroom’ at Free Range Gallery

– by Stephanie Lyon

Bedroom is an eclectic and intimate exhibition; currently on display at Free Range Gallery as part of Fringe World Festival 2015. Local artists Carla Adams and Mardi Crocker, recent graduates from Curtin University, shared a studio space throughout their honours year in 2014; and have joined forces for this insightful show. Bedroom investigates the bedroom as a place for longing, nostalgia, intimacy, rest, and action. At a time when the walls between the bedroom and the outside world are thinning; with technology and social media allowing us to communicate and upload content from the confines of our bedrooms.

The contrast between Adams and Crocker’s works is fascinating. Mardi Crocker’s ‘Ordinary Memorials’ is clever as it subtly touches on the universal themes of intimacy and action. The phrase ‘airing your dirty laundry’ is also played with as the work literally utilises a floral bedspread and pillowcases as a canvas for her beautifully shaded pencil drawings of bed linen in various states. One such drawing includes a laptop cord caught up in the sheets; re-iterating the idea of technology seeping into the bedroom.

Meanwhile Adams takes a nostalgic and deeply personal approach as she re-visits the small felt toys her Nanna used to sew for her. These toys she’d hang from the springs of her bunk bed; where they would be the last thing she’d see at night and the first thing she’d see in the morning. Her artworks are a spectacle as they reveal the process of creating three of her own felt toys: a star, a mouse, and a heart. There are vivid drawings on graph paper and full colour study paintings on Canson paper which hold a child-like innocence; the objects are coloured using a mixture of bright vibrant colours. The highlight and focal point of course is her own versions of the felt toys her drawings depict with their features delicately embroidered.

The bedroom concept is intriguing and insightful as no two bedrooms are the same with their abilities to expose intimate details about their occupants. It is for this reason I would have loved for ‘Bedroom’ to have been a slightly bigger exhibition showcasing even more emerging artists; as I felt there was more to be said. If you’re soaking up Fringe Festival or have a few minutes to spare in the heart of the Perth CBD it’s definitely worth popping in to have a look; as Carla Adams and Mardi Crocker show they are local artists well worth keeping an eye on.

LOCATION: Free Range Gallery, 339 Wellington Street, Perth
OPENING TIMES: Wed – Sat 12pm – 5pm, until February 28

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