Revelation & Concealment

17 Jul-31 Aug 2024
PV 17 Jul 2024, 6-8pm

JGM Gallery
London SW11 4AY


JGM Gallery presents Revelation & Concealment, an exhibition of paintings and prints by 18 Indigenous Australian artists. The starting points for this exhibition are the dual themes of "revelation and concealment" in Indigenous contemporary art, a dialectic which curator Stephen Gilchrist identifies in his 2016 analysis of Shorty Lungkarta Tjungurrayi's Children's Water Dreaming (1972) (Gilchrist, 2016). 
The tension between these polarities is often manifest in the relationship between abstraction and realism. Indeed, a great strength of Revelation & Concealment'sexhibiting artists is their capacity to reconcile these two approaches, which they achieve using a variety of formal innovations.  
In Jennifer Ingkatji's Seven Sisters Story, the narrative of its Tjukurpa ("Creation Story"), which tells how the Pleiades cluster came into being, is not articulated sequentially. Instead, the painting gives an impression of creation through Ingkatji's auratic sprays of dotwork. Superimposed over a preliminary layer of paint, these dots dazzle the viewer, suggesting fields of energy emanating from astral beings, or the clarity of constellations against an abyssal night sky. However, this dotwork also slightly obscures the composition below. Thus, while impacting the viewer in a manner akin to the experience of revelation, Ingkatji’s dotwork can also be seen to function as a mask, concealing the forms beneath. 
Aerial representations of the land in Revelation & Concealment often feature topographies flattened into two-dimensional motifs. Waterholes and meeting grounds are translated into concentric circles on plane surfaces, and routes between these features are transformed into connective lines. Through a one-point perspectival lens, features of the land may diminish into the distance or evade observation altogether. Though seemingly more abstract, an aerial approach instead allows the viewer to observe the landscape more holistically. 
In Untitled II, Marcus 'Double O' Camphoo Kemarre paints blocks of green and white over a discarded mining map, which the artist sourced from the Peko Mines in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory. Though Camphoo Kemarre is concealing information about the mine, this act doubles to reveal Indigenous peoples' land relations, which are often disregarded in mining cartographies. This act of reclamation is thus one which expresses far more than the mining map would in isolation.
The artworks in Revelation & Concealment ultimately respond to the question: "How well does an artwork represent or express something, without simply making an illustration of it?" In other words, to what extent does an artist's representational deviation from reality enable them to say something truer about their subject? 
Exhibiting artists include: Alair Pambegan, Carissa Gurwalwal, David Bosun, George Cooley, Hubert Pareroultja, Jeanon Bosun, Jennifer Ingkatji, Judith Walkabout, Lily Hargraves, Lindsay Nelson, Marcus Camphoo, Mulkun Wirrpanda, Nyarapayi Giles, Phyllis Thomas, Rosie Tasman, Sally Gabori, Valmai Pollard, Watson Corby.

For further information and press enquiries, please contact the gallery at [email protected] or + 44 (0) 207 228 6027.

Opening Reception: 

Wednesday, 17 July, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

24 Howie Street, 

London SW11 4AY

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Selected works