I LIVE IN SARAH POULGRAIN'S MUM'S GRANNY FLAT
6 - 27 May, 2023
IT IS WHAT IT IS
IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT DOES
IT IS WHAT I SAY IT IS
YOU BELIEVE CAUSE I BELIEVE
A response to the exhibition by David Michael Thomas
I had a conversation with Georgia Morgan at her opening and she said she had asked her mother
how to pray, she reported her Mother said, “Just say what you mean”.
Most people deal with the world as it comes, and then there are those that get into such an intense state that the world comes at them very differently. Such people I call mystics. There’s no hedging, no self diagnosing, no prescription, mind and body are not separated, work and world are the “cause and the cure of an illness that is pure”.
I also talked with Morgan a week before her exhibition opened, she told me “I got nothing”, but knowing how artists like to manage expectations and that fear and a deadline can be good motivators, I was not concerned. Having seen a few exhibitions now in the space in the basement of Brisbane's Milani Gallery, taking note of the different ways the space had been used. In this instance there were three rooms, three connected installations, made of things that could, but don't need to be considered sculptures, paintings or even fine art. Composed of provisional materials, spray paint, found objects, particle board, unfired clay, tape, objects coated in concrete. Matter that can be experimented with, that ultimately becomes the substance of spiritual alchemy. Which is what this was; intense, spiritual transformation of space, with all the atoms and molecules still vibrating. More it was through this sensuous, material ritual that these spaces transformed into shrines and took on Morgans’ personal and family narratives.
Resonating in these sanctums were Morgans’ cultural and spiritual interests in Hinduism and most importantly the life of her mother, who’s photographic image was present in several works. So powerful Morgans’ over writing of these provisional spaces, so precise and personal that entire biographical and spiritual worlds were conjured. In this manner Morgan performed a physical, spatial and phenomenological magic. The making of which was in truth more like a two week process, and part of an ongoing life/love death/art project that is documented unflinchingly through Morgan's works and Instagram personae Scorpiopork. A refreshingly brave approach to this soul stripping context of needy gridded conformity. Likewise the spirituous overcoming of institutional frame is demonstrated convincingly in her bold exhibition.
Nothing about this show felt theatrical or like a reenactment of 90’s avant grunge. Still, part of me did want to ask local art historian Andrew McNamara, who was there wanting to participate in the making of the work by grasping the unfired clay, who, like me, remembers Grunge from the first time around, if he thought “Grunge Lived?”. But, I showed restraint and didn’t, realising Morgans’ exhibition transcended the banality of my personal observations. I also wanted to acknowledge Morgan’s role as a significant member of the local art community and to list all the great associate artists from Brisbane and other states who are making similarly impressive work. But you know who they are, at least you should. (hint: one of them is mentioned in the title of the exhibition).