HERE BEFORE
WILL COOKE & KATIE LOUISE WILLIAMS

23 JULY - 27 JULY

Opening night 6pm Wednesday 23 July

Will and Katie met at Sydney College of the Arts doing their undergrad degrees in the Painting Department. Since then they have shared an ongoing dialogue and this show emerges from this continuing conversation. Will’s practice remains firmly entrenched in painting; the flat geometric shapes of modernism are transferred onto minimally inspired industrial materials such as brushed aluminium. Will expresses personal narratives (he uses the term ‘Nostalgia Paintings’ to describe his works). They are visual representations of “memories that are on the periphery of my subconscious”. The odours, sounds, tastes, touch and colors that are imprinted on his memory are recycled and reformed in memory chains; one link seemingly unrelated brings to mind another link. He then transforms these sensations into paint; “to create abstract paintings that make these recollections become less abstract,” these memories thus have a concrete form. Katie’s practice is no longer based purely in painting; her works have become platforms for others to tell their stories. She sets the stage, provides props and lets the audience in various ways experience their own and others stories. King’s Cross is part of Katie’s own story, it was the place of her birth. She was born in the “Yellow House”, an artists squat on Macleay St. Her young mum, a kid herself, gave her up for adoption. This history was the starting point for the work in Here/Before, the sound scape “You Were There” is recorded fragments of conversations with locals, sounds of the night, and the tales of those who pass through the Cross. These private moments are restaged in this public space for those at Alaska to witness and reconfigure for themselves. “You Were There” would not have been possible with out the generous contributions of those who let me record there stories. The World Bar who opened their doors to me. Charles Hicks for his sound recording and Daniel Castro for his editing and sound engineering skills.

Will Cooke Will Cooke (b. 1989) is a Sydney based artist who uses abstraction and humour to understand memory and the way in which it develops nostalgia. He finished a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) at Sydney College of the Arts in 2011. Will has recently exhibited at Breezeblock, China Heights Gallery, Artereal and The Tate (Glebe). In 2013, he completed a major site-specific commission in Zetland, Sydney. The project was awarded by PJ Projects in conjunction with Tzannes Associates.

Katie Louise Williams is a Sydney based artist, currently a PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts. She has exhibited widely in Australia, most recently at The Town Hall Gallery in Melbourne, Artereal, Rosyln Oxley Gallery9, Articulate Project Space, Verge Gallery, Index Space, MOP, Air Space Projects, and Peloton in Sydney; Project Contemporary Artspace in Wollongong. In 2013 she was the recipient of the ‘Banff Centre for the Arts’, Canada’s Thematic Residency Scholarship. Katie was exhibited at the International VIP Art Fair, in the Top 100, Post Graduate Artists. She is currently a board member at Articulate Project Space in Sydney and holds an Australian Post-Graduate Award.

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Supported by Australia Council For the Arts