The question of identity, on both an individual and community level, feels more pertinent in the current global climate than ever before. 'Us Now’ looks at how artists appropriate national and political figures, imagery, and iconography in order to address this subject in their work.
The exhibition features the latest works from digital artist Dominic Harris, celebrated portrait artist Mitch Griffiths as well as iconic works by Andy Warhol. Works on view cover a diverse range of media, from screenprint on paper to oil on canvas, digital screens to actual banknotes.
Dominic Harris’ World Stage uses digital representations of global species of butterflies to animate the powerful iconography of worldwide flags. While the iconography of each flag might represent a specific geographic area or population identity, its ability to erupt in a swarm of colour and movement evokes freedom of thought and expression. Ultimately, the butterflies return to their intended, iconic design, representing the unity and collectivity that Harris also represents here.
Metamorphosis exemplifies the process of transformation that sits at the heart of Dominic Harris’ work, forging a new symbiosis between the natural and human worlds. The methodically organised grids of butterflies respond to sound and touch, and transition between varying formations of species selected for their colour and meaning.
A series of individual butterfly studies, magnified and detailed, revealing the otherwise hidden beauty of the delicate wing structures and scales. Each butterfly is painstakingly created with layers of digital paint, hand-painted on a tablet with manual brushstrokes, building up colour and texture to achieve the iridescence and transparency that brings them to life.