1 October 2012

Grey Flags

September 26–October 14, 2012
c3 Contemporary Art Space
Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Australia

O’Carrigan’s works take the ‘human condition’ and its accompanying existential void and as their subject matter—though they are sometimes tongue in cheek. The works focus on the notion of communication, the pillar on which rests our avoidance of isolation.

Flags and placards are greyed out (stripping them of any text, or identifying colour or symbol), and figures isolated—waving their flags at nothing. The works imagine the problems resulting when communication is blocked: they trace the tension between the human need to speak to others about hopes and fears, and the difficulty of doing so articulately.

Planting Flags

Planting Flags
Ink on paper, 70 x 50 cm (unframed)
2012

Horses

Horses
Ink on paper, 40 x 25 cm
2012

Lost For Words

Lost For Words
Ink on paper, 26 x 26 cm (unframed)
2012

Flag Ship

Flag Ship
Ink on linen, 36 x 36 cm
2012

What Do We Want?

What Do We Want?
Ink on paper, 25 x 28 cm (unframed)
2012

Dromedary

Dromedary
Ink on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

Picket Line

Picket Line
Ink and collage on linen, 41 x 31 cm
2012

Ensign

Ensign
Ink on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

Rooftops

Rooftops
Ink on paper, 70 x 56 cm (unframed)
2012

Empty Chair

Empty Chair
Collage on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

Choir

Choir
Collage on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

Shore

Shore
Collage on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

Stepladder

Stepladder
Collage on wood panel, 40 x 40 cm
2012

25 September 2012
Summit

Summit
Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm
2012

We Don’t Want No…

We Don’t Want No…
Oil on linen, 36 x 26 cm
2012

15 September 2012

“Grey Flags”
So, I have this thing I want to tell you. Because, you know, a trouble shared is a trouble halved. Problem is, I don’t quite know what this thing I want to tell you is. I can’t pin it down.

I am determined to make contact with you, across all this distance. You can’t hear me, from where you are, so I will use semaphore. You may not see me from afar, so I will plant flags like breadcrumbs. When you reach this place, at least you’ll know I’ve been here.

There is something I am lacking, something I want. I’m sure you feel the same. I don’t know what it is. But collectively, we can find out how to get it, maybe. We can take our placards and march for it. If we can work out just what it is we are fighting for.

When I am at least working towards finding it, making progress, the gulf is not as wide. It’s so hard to distinguish, though, the progress from the ruins. The history surrounds us, scars of the past etched into our minds, hallucinations overlaid on newer landscapes. No land marks remain to guide my path.

When I find you, I must tell you something. Maybe by the time I get there, I will know what it is. I must hear you reply, just so I know you are there. It’s lonely out here. It’s cold as hell.

–Jesse Couchman, October 2012