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A new solo exhibition by Australian artist Arran Russell, titled Silent Language, will be unveiled on Tuesday 3 May 2022 featuring a series of sculptures, wall assemblages, paintings and works on paper. Presented across the rarely accessed top-floor space of the Verona Penthouse in Paddington, Sydney, the exhibition is free entry and runs until Saturday 7 May 2022.

The inaugural solo exhibition by Arran Russell harnesses a hidden language of shapes which draws upon the artist’s past experience in the design and fashion industries in Australia, Vietnam, China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. For Russell this meant many years working with the shapes found in garment patterns, often in places where the only shared vocabulary was in the forms laid out between Russell and his collaborators.

In Silent Language, the origins of the cut-out shapes of garment patterns have kept their perplexing, prone characters, floating, nudging, and nestling themselves into new and abstracted compositions. Using movement and gesture Russell delivers previously mass produced materials into a more premium environment.

Art critic Chloé Wolifson, who has written the catalogue essay for the exhibition and says “Like a gesture performed through muscle memory, the forms in these works emerge from a place of subconscious recollection. Familiar yet abstract, reiterated yet unique, Russell harnesses a hidden language of shapes, conjuring a well-worn vocabulary into new expressions.”

The exhibition presents a series of sculptures formed from clay and wood that will be shown alongside large-scale paintings and works on paper. Many of the works incorporate heavy duty materials such as tar, lead, clay and kaolin, often applied to the surface using only a squeegee and a spatula, with the resulting abstracted forms taking on a gritty and permeable texture.

I wished to give them the glory they deserved and away from their mass produced past.

Artist Arran Russell comments that “Everything I make is based on shapes and patterns joined together to create a completely different item. I wanted to take these shapes from mass production and reimagine them with a different form and language. I wished to give them the glory they deserved and away from their mass produced past.”

Silent Language is open from Tuesday 3 May until Saturday 7 May 2022, daily from 11am–4pm at the Verona Penthouse, Level 4, 17 Oxford St, Paddington. Entry to the exhibition is free.

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