Sunday, 19 March 2017

Glenn Locklee

11 March - 8 April      The Urban and Industrial

Glenn Locklee. Installation of The Urban and Industrial. Oil paintings on aluminum panels.

I am a South West Sydney artist who observe two societal phenomena: the increasing redundancy of small business and domestic manufacturing; and the proliferation of high-rise, high-density living as house and land ownership become increasingly unattainable.

The burgeoning demand and ease of access to imported commodities has governments and businesses scrambling to claim new expanses of riverside land for development. Such voracity has resulted in an ever-changing physical environment and a desired lifestyle of material aspiration and human disconnect.

My paintings are not overtly political, nor do they carry an agenda of protest. They stand as silent witnesses to change; evocative peripheral images that conjure up subliminal memories and reflection of the industrial environments of South West Sydney where I grew up. This is evident not just in the subjects of these works, but also the poetic architecture and process of making these works. The sparse geometric construction and layers of tertiary colours play off against the expressionist rendering of surface and portrayal of light. The use of aluminum as a canvas - known to be a common building material - compliments the surface texture, but also reveals the very material of our being.


Glenn Locklee. The Urban and Industrial. Oil painting on aluminum.

The subject matter and visual presentation of these paintings are readily accessible.  With the title assigned to this installation, the reading of it is neatly wrapped.  Being the 'silent witness' to changes in the built environment, Glenn has selected the geometries and compose that he responds to.  This and the use of material are the two elements in Glenn's works that I enjoy.

Of all the paintings Glenn painted that I have seen, they do not have a human figure in them. Almost always the images show only a sense of human presence with abandoned buildings and consumer cast-offs.  This de-selection brings to mind the idea of de-humanisation as the inevitable by-product of industrial development.

Ironically, Glenn's paintings of buildings have a strong human narrative.  While Glenn uses the buildings as a springboard for his image-making with its geometries, shapes, lines and light; his interest is never to reduce them to mere compositions as do the Russian Constructivists and Reductive painters.  It is important for Glenn that the feel and materiality of the surfaces he witnesses are captured in his paintings. They are a vehicle for him to craft the tactile and spatial nuances for his narrative.  Through the realism of these surfaces, the familiar and the common are drawn upon to document the built remnants of human trail and activities resulted from the unending focus on profit making in the industrial world.

Looking at this installation, there is a strong visual play on the idea of balance.  The diagonal structures are often supported precariously either by a container on stilts as its base, or its support is blocked from line of sight.  It comes to mind the uncertainties as to whether there is check and balance in the unending developments in our world where its resource is finite.

Anie Nheu
Caretaker of Slot

All photographs by Glenn Locklee

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