I like the Roslyn Oxley9 space. It’s immediately atmospheric, attuning you to whatever show inhabits it at the time. Currently it’s a David Noonan sculptural work, and on this occasion atmosphere is crucial to the show’s success. The main room is populated with larger than life screen-printed sculptures, or free-standing paintings. They have a strange, carnivalesque feel to them – black and white, historical-looking and yet displaced from any history you try to pin on them. Walking amongst them, you may feel like a lost child encountering a parade, a protest, or a performance. This sense of displacement is what makes the show work; the pieces are enticingly ambiguous. They are almost flat and yet surreally textured, sparse and yet evocative of a crowd, always looking away and yet inviting you into their isolation. The Roslyn Oxley9 space has a key role to play here – in the wrong arena the work could evoke little more than the feeling of standing in a shop display. But here Noonan achieves that difficult balance of producing a work that is simultaneously open to interpretation and ambiguous, while also being internally structured, producing its own chaotic and always shifting world.
Until Apr 2, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, 8 Soudan Lane, Paddington, 9331 1919, roslynoxley9.com.au