Técha Noble's CRYSTAL ROMEO re-examines the colourful and debated legacy of Australian artist Norman Lindsay as a lens to explore themes of decorative typology, animism, puppetry and queer aesthetics. While Lindsay's vision of bucolic Australian landscapes populated by voluptuous maidens was a reaction to the fascination with technological advancement found in modernism, Noble reanimates his imagery via means of mechanical mediation. She locates a high camp aesthetic in Lindsay's oeuvre, and uses it to enhance her own vision of landscape and body, imbuing both with an unabashedly decorative and playful quality. In doing so, she is able to undermine the construction of nationalistic myths of landscape and reveal the unexpected mechanics of nature. A video of collaged landscapes rendered in glitter exemplifies this approach, both enhancing and effacing the natural world in multi-faceted and reflective surfaces.
Noble worked with fashion model Casey Legler to explore the mechanised quality of human movement, editing her gestures to create a manipulated version of her body that recalls Eadweard Muybridge's early photographic experiments using animals. Noble furthers this use of composite forms in a filmed dance work (originally commissioned by Performance Space for Day for Night, 20 – 22 February 2015) that uses the bodies of three costumed dancers to create the form of Baku, a mythological Japanese creature that is said to devour nightmares. Together with a series of etchings that recall Lindsay's own iconic characters, this exhibition constructs a fantasy world that reclaims the symbolist ideology and applies it towards a radicalised vision of landscape and body.
Técha Noble's solo practice plays with performances of gender, tropes of pop culture and systems of cultural power. Her interdisciplinary approach is expressed via costume, choreography, video, sculpture, installation and printmaking, and crosses into commercial design with clients such as Romance Was Born, Sia, The Gossip and Kanye West. She is a founding member of The Kingpins, whose work uses drag performance and immersive installation to subvert mainstream culture.
Opening Tuesday 10 March, 6 - 8 pm
Presented as part of Art Month