Sa­lon se­lec­tion in­spires

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Art - Tanya MacNaughton

FLOREAT artist Penny Coss has been cre­atively en­er­gised since PICA cu­ra­tors Leigh Robb and Na­dia John­son in­vited her to ex­hibit in PICA Sa­lon 2015.

“To be asked to be in­volved with such a dy­namic group of other artists has been re­ally in­vig­o­rat­ing,” Coss said.

“They’ve cho­sen a num­ber of works of mine (13), which is very ex­cit­ing and al­most feels like I’m do­ing a new body of work for PICA.”

It has been 20 years since Coss last ex­hib­ited at Perth In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Arts and the mother of two will join 18 other lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists ex­plor­ing the con­cept of ‘epic nar­ra­tives’.

The an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion, now in its sixth year, is a con­tem­po­rary take on the tra­di­tional Parisian ‘Sa­lon’ and is a ma­jor fundraiser for the in­sti­tute.

Coss said she was an artist who liked to fo­cus on the land­scape of her lo­cal area, par­tic­u­larly the af­fects of long-term dis­as­ters, from floods and fire to blooms and plumes.

“I’m in­ter­ested in the way the land­scape learns to for­give us but also how that af­fects the ecol­ogy,” she said.

“The works that I pro­duce are like stains that are com­ing from the land­scape, but they’re also mak­ing vis­i­ble things that are not so vis­i­ble.”

Coss was also in­flu­enced by re­search on the con­tro­ver­sial his­tory of the Monte Bello Is­lands atomic test­ing dur­ing the 1950s af­ter see­ing Lin Onus’s work Mar­alinga on dis­play at the Art Gallery of WA.

“He spoke so po­et­i­cally about some­thing where we can’t even see the long-term af­fects of ra­di­a­tion fall­out,” she said.

“For an artist, I think it’s al­ways about recog­ni­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the work you’ve done and the need to be un­der­stood.

“I choose a vis­ual lan­guage to com­mu­ni­cate and it’s im­por­tant for me that that vis­ual lan­guage is clear.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d439680

Artist Penny Coss.

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