In this new exhibition, Jarrad Martyn critiques the status of early colonisers and forgotten diplomats by placing historical monuments in modern contexts. The exhibition presents a series of large-scale oil paintings depicting ambiguous museum interiors and indistinct landscape spaces drawing attention to past and present colonial damage. Martyn’s fascinating blend of social, political and natural landscapes will show at Linden Projects Space from 10 March to 10 April 2022.
As well as studio-based oil painting, Martyn incorporates exterior acrylic wall murals into his practise. Martyn’s work examines humanity’s relationship with the natural environment and how different historical events are framed. Employing the principles of bricolage to explore the symbolic function of certain imagery, his work is distinctly categorised by the juxtaposition of different motifs, placed in surreal contexts or historical periods drawing attention to social and political topics.
These themes are carried into Relics, exploring the evolution of collective memory, and the function of public monuments in modern society. The exhibition encapsulates the pivotal moments of the past year through hazmat-suit wearing figures ‘sanitising’ history within the same frame as ancient and modern monuments. Non-indigenous fauna occupies public statues employing the visual notions and retribution of colonial damage, the whitewashing of history, and shifting the collective consciousness of the onlooker.
“As members of communities, our relationship with statues and monuments is in a constant state of change due to the ever-evolving nature of society. In recent years, there has been a shift towards moral accountability and a re-examination of the achievements of memorialised and iconised figures.” says Martyn.
For Relics, Martyn has relevantly touched on the global shifts and re-examining of the representations of history and public monuments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jarrad Martyn is an Australian artist working in Naarm, Melbourne. Martyn’s work is exhibited in a number of public and private collections including UWA, ECU, Curtin University and City of Perth. Recently he won the Fifty Squared Art Prize at Brunswick Street Gallery. In 2018 he won the John Stringer Art Prize and in 2017 he won the City of Joondalup Community Invitation Art Award Overall Acquisitive Award.
Relics intrigues the viewer to witness archaic ideas being torn down, the questioning of authority and societal constructs, and asks the audience to question their role and complicity in histories that pervade current times.
Linden New Art
26 Acland Street, St Kilda 3182
Jarrad Martyn > Relics
Exhibition dates: 10 March – 10 April 2022
Jarrad Martyn, Host [detail], 2022, oil on canvas, 137 x 88cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Linden New Art.