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fortyfivedownstairs’ Artist in Residence Programme 2013
Greg Ades


May – July 2013

Often the mid-career artist finds that there is a strange gap in their career, a hiatus in the mid years, between the early days as a new star on the horizon and later years as a revered elder.

From its inception, not for profit arts venue fortyfivedownstairs has been supportive of artists in this stage of their careers.  For the first time this year, CAL (Copyright Agency Limited) Cultural Fund, had assisted fortyfivedownstairs in funding an artist residency for three months at fortyfivedownstairs, to be followed by a two week exhibition in the main gallery.

A committee that included the Chair of fortyfivedownstairs Julian Burnside AO QC, artist Jon Cattapan and Heide Museum director Jason Smith, selected Greg Ades as the first recipient of the residency and exhibition grant.

Greg Ades is an artist who has been widely acknowledged and respected by the art world since he first exhibited with the now legendary Art Projects set up by John Nixon in the early 1980’s.

Greg currently teaches at Latrobe College of Art and Design and is  involved with Port Melbourne Primary School as a teacher’s aid. Greg also works closely with, and was the Director of, Artists for Kids Culture; an organisation that seeks to provide arts and cultural opportunities to kids experiencing disadvantage in their lives due to factors including poverty, health or social issues or cultural dislocation.

He has always been strongly influenced by his environment – St. Kilda in the 80s, New York in the late 90s, producing a series of works that dealt with the claustrophobia of dense urban space. These are scenes of crowded skylines, streets devoid of life, while more recent journeys have produced works about the Kimberley and Kakadu, the South Australian desert and the Daintree Rainforest.

Greg was available for artist talks, discussions and studio visits, particularly with school groups, with prior arrangement via contact with our Gallery Assistant.

Greg’s residency culminated in Places, a two week exhibition in the fortyfivedownstairs large gallery that ran from 16 – 27 July 2013.

In this exhibition Greg drew upon the places he had journeyed to over recent years. He explored the interactions between natural structures, their surrounding space and neighbouring objects to create a series of narratives around Australian landscape.

The roots of a strangler fig engulf the tree upon which it dwells. Interlacing, they coalesce and thicken, depriving the host tree of life until it rots away revealing the elongated cage that once engulfed the host.

Within the entanglement of mangrove roots and branches a singular tree loses itself amidst its neighbours.

A myrtle and a fern germinate next to each other. As they grow the roots of the myrtle become attached to the fern. Eventually the myrtle is growing on the fern, its roots taking hold, engulfing its neighbour. As the two grow the weight of the myrtle forces its neighbour ever closer to its eventual collapse. – Greg Ades

The inaugural fortyfivedownstairs Artist in Residence was funded with assistance from Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

Media and links:

Documentary images of Greg in studio

Listen to Greg on SYN radio

Click below to view our series of short interviews between Artistic Director Mary Lou &  Greg Ades:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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