Scott Eady and Rachel H. Allan showed their works in a recent exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
The exhibition "Ridiculous Sublime" was on display from July to October 2016, with works by other Dunedin artists Nick Austin and Jane Dodd as well as the two Dunedin School of Art lecturers. Scott Eady produces large-scale sculpture, using domestic materials and forms familiar to viewers, and elevating those into something monumental. For this exhibition he remade an earlier work to produce a fountain of cascading water from giant marrows on bar stools into plastic paddling pools, for sound as well as visual effect. The everyday has become fantastical.
Rachel H. Allan's field is photography. Through the images she composes and through her image production research practice, Rachel's work deals with themes of restraint, curiosity and mimicry. Like Scott, Rachel challenges perceptions of reality through exploring objects. Monique Hodgkinson, writing in the Critic, described Rachel's work as "haunting" and creating "a shadowy, lonesome world".
Through their work these contemporary artists provide a new way of seeing things, turning ordinary objects into something sublime, or ridiculous, or perhaps even both. The Dunedin Public Art Gallery curator Lucy Hammond's hope was that the exhibition would make visitors think, prompting them to reexamine their views of, and relationships with, common objects. Reviewer Monique Hodgkinson described the exhibition as "simultaneously kitsch and stylish, artistic and absurd, hilarious and thought-provoking".