White books in a white room. Lots of them. This art exhibition at Megalo in Watson is at first quite mystifying.
For his solo exhibition artist Nick Stranks has gone to a lot of trouble to cast a matched set of books in aluminium, bronze and plaster. But then he has whitewashed them all to appear the same.
Nick Stranks works at the art school, and has done a lot of work casting statues for well known artists in Canberra. So he is an expert in the casting process.
In his exhibition, three or four books have been recreated in plaster and various materials, many many times. And being a small gallery you can get right up close and try to guess which of the chalky white books are now metal, and which are brittle plaster. But don’t touch – the whole exhibit is for sale at 18 thousand dollars, so you don’t want to break it.
So what does it all mean?
This ghostly white display questions the role of the book through time. And the future of the book. And ultimately the transience of all things.
Ten years ago nobody would have imagined that books could be a thing of the past. Yet today this display of books as museum pieces does not seem as out of place as it should.
Standing in the exhibition the long row of palid books evokes the quiet reflection of a library space. And it will leave you thinking.
The exhibition is free and there is parking right outside the Watson gallery. It only takes a few minutes to view the small exhibition, but it will stay in your thoughts for a little while afterwards.
There are also some landscapes by other Megalo print artists just upstairs from the main gallery space. This exhibition is on from 9.30-5.00 daily until Saturday 29 August at Megalo Gallery at 49 Phillip Avenue (formerly Watson CIT).