18/08/2017 - 28/08/2017
Gaffa Gallery Sydney
Ex Voto: An offering made in fulfillment of a vow.
We are pulled out of our homes to travel once in a while, drawn by people, places, lovers and circumstance into other countries and cultures. One of the places that we come across the most difference from our homebound lives is in the visual manifestation of faith in architecture, visual iconography and ceremony in religious and cultural events in countries outside of our own. Ex Voto expresses the echo and aftershock that these moments leave on our lives when we return home.
This exhibition is also about the role of ritual and habit in everyday life and the way these practices contribute to personal identity and purpose. Cruise’s conceptual starting point is her experience of religious and cultural festivities abroad, however the works really begin in the contrast between a sacred practice and a very secular one. Through painting, Cruise raises the value of domestic chores and daily habits to the status of important cultural rituals.
In the development of these works Cruise explores the role of decorative systems in attributing value to objects, the role of the artist in assigning meaning via the decision of subject matter, as well of the role of space and how it can be a means for people to connect with their environment.
Ex Voto is about giving holiness to routine, to community engagement, aesthetic orderliness and ornamentation. Carefully ordered interiors are sanctums, leisurely gardens are retreats.
Still life is a devotional practice and landscapes are holy sites.
Oliver Hensel Brown