Arts & Entertainment

Galerie pompom’s latest exhibition seen through a looking glass

Felipe Olivares. Photo: Karolin Wu

By Tessa Pelle

Galerie pompom will present the talent of four emerging Sydney based artists in its newest exhibition, Confabulations.

Despite Sydney’s ongoing lockdown, art enthusiasts can still view the exhibition through the gallery’s window facing Abercrombie Street in Chippendale.

Curator Felipe Olivares is happy the exhibition was still able to go ahead despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Although I was disappointed when I realised Confabulations would be rolling out with closed doors, there were still alternatives for us to exhibit. Luckily, Galerie pompom has a massive window facing Abercombie street, which provides a great viewing point as people can see the entire show by peeping through the glass,” he says.

The exhibition explores escapism and themes such as the grief and longing associated with cultural displacement. Felipe says his curatorial idea was to spotlight artists whose work embodies the reclaiming of personal narratives.

I guess the main inspiration behind the exhibition was the frustration with the uncertainty of the presents times, and in particular, the impossibility to connect or reconnect with specific sites, but sites understood in a broader sense, not just geographical places, but states of mind, socially-construct ideas or concepts altogether,” Felipe says.

Installation view of ‘Confabulations’, a group exhibition curated by Felipe Olivares, at Galerie p;ompom, August 2021. Image Credit: Docqment.

The artists include Camille Gillyboeuf, Alex Karaconji, Monica Renaud and Monica Rani Rudhar. Confabulations showcases work across a variety of diverse mediums such as oil painting and animation.

“We have a balanced presentation of traditional mediums, including ceramics with Monica Rani Rudhar, photographic methodologies with Monica Renaud, painting and drawing with Alex Karaconji and soft sculpture/installation with Camille Gillyboeuf. It was very significant for me to create this balance,” Felipe says.

The exhibition’s themes are timely given Sydney’s never-ending lockdown. The artist’s diverse works convey ideas of impermanence and ambiguity.

I borrow and bastardise the term Confabulations from the neuroscience field to describe something we all experience daily, consciously or unconsciously, and even more during the lockdown.

Felipe recognises the importance of art in uncertain times.

I believe in art’s ability to offer an intellectual escape from reality, but I also acknowledge its capacity to provide comfort and healing. It can be challenging and confronting,” Felipe says.

Art is a repository for more complex ways of feeling and thinking… I feel very proud as an emerging curator to have been able to put up an art exhibition with a city in lockdown.

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