Sawtooth ARI Gallery encourages viewers to engage with eclectic art

FLYING: '23° West', an international collaboration, features in February at Sawtooth. Picture: Supplied
FLYING: '23° West', an international collaboration, features in February at Sawtooth. Picture: Supplied

Walking through Sawtooth ARI, it may look like the gallery has been expanded.

A large door stands open at the end of the exhibition space, inviting people to peer through.

But what you’re really looking at is an installation by Melbourne artist James Little as part of the February at Sawtooth exhibition.

Little developed his installation, called SS18, for his project playing on the efficient but vacuous way people consume artwork on the internet and social media.

His work created a “gallery within a gallery”, as the floating door installation was inspired by a Norwegian exhibition building.

The door warped perceptions as people didn’t realise it was a fake door until they walked closer, Little said.

It followed his Instagram series where he photoshopped his artwork into international galleries.

The installation was one of the first physical shows for the project, he said.

Six artists have transformed the different gallery spaces to feature expositions into identity, site, place, and audience experience, including three Tasmanian artists.

Groundedness is the latest exhibition from Alana Collin, of Hobart, which displays intricate illustrations in the middle gallery.

Tasmanian artist Hugh Kerr will present Pulling the Strings, a series of surrealist portraits in the gate space gallery.

Video work from Sawtooth board member Kim Lehman will also be on show.

The Sawtooth ARI Gallery has attracted artists from the mainland.

Elly Steinlauf, Little and video artist Vanessa White are the three Victorian artists who chose to exhibit their work in the Launceston gallery.

White’s work 23° West is an international collaboration featuring Australian, Finnish and Icelandic artists, which is in the dark gallery.

She chose to showcase the artwork at Sawtooth ARI Gallery because Tasmanians had a better relationship with the environment, particularly the mountainous scenes portrayed in the videos.

Filmed in Iceland, the choreographed and improvised piece was created during an artist residency.

It was shot in different ways so the videos could be shown on separate screens at Sawtooth.

“The viewer has to decide which screen to look at, sometimes the screen goes black,” White said.

“I direct what they look at, but they can decide which screen to look at. You can’t passively watch.”

Steinlauf’s exhibition Surroundings captures the changing suburban Melbourne architecture and houses using analogue photography.

  • February at Sawtooth will be on display at the gallery until February 24. The exhibition will be open from Wednesday to Friday between noon and 5pm and on Saturday between 10am and 2pm. Entry is free to the exhibition.
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