SUB12 Newport in its third year running

“Twelve Artists, Twelve Weeks, Twelve Ambitious New Works,” runs the slogan for SUB12.

An annual three month long exhibition in its third year running, SUB12 brings together some of the most interesting names in Australian contemporary art under the roof of south-west Melbourne’s iconic Newport substation. The exhibition presents an experimental mix of sculpture, painting, video and installation to engage audiences with investigational work in a community-based setting. Allocated a space within the Substation Gallery’s industrial parametres, participating artists will present the 2012 edition of SUB12 – a diverse program of exhibitions and site responsive interventions.

This year’s curator, Jessica Bridgfoot, has selected a unique line up of artists to showcase some of which include Mark Titmarsh, Santina Amato, Steven Rendall, Juan Ford, Steven Asquith, and Masato Takasaka.

Month one highlight: Santina Amato’s Cigarettes and Bees Knees, a site-specific video installation designed specifically for the three-leveled gallery space at The Substation. Exploring notions of femininity in today’s complex world, Amato’s stylistic agenda is centred on a self-reflexive questioning of temporal and spatial boundaries. With a series of silhouettes and projections, Cigarettes and Bees Knees invites viewer interactivity by encouraging them to solve various ‘clues’ scattered throughout the installation in order to solve a ‘Murder in the Dark’ scenario.

Month two highlight: Akin to Amato’s encouragement of viewer interactivity is Steven Rendall’s reliance on his audience to actually complete his SUB12 piece. Rendall presents a ‘Television’ project where the artist translates randomly submitted images onto his ‘half finished’ canvas. Monumental in scale, 3m x 5m, Rendall’s work communicates ideas of collective authorship in an era of multi-platform technology and diverse social theory.

Month three highlight: Interweaving modern materials with primitive symbolism, Steven Asquith favours contemporary abstraction. Materials of choice for Asquith’s SUB12 wall paste up included spray chalkboard enamel, paint markers and enamel paint on board. The artist will cover 12 square meters of The Substation’s wall space in an attempt to lace nonsensical symbols with an array of patterns to express a fascination with hybrid visual cultures.

SUB12 opens at The Substation on 28 June and runs until 16 September 2012.

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