Clare Rae and Simone Hine create 'Stages'

    Clare Rae is a Melbourne-based artist who captivates audiences with endearing images that tell subtle stories through a thoughtful approach. She exhibited in NGV’s Melbourne Now, was recently commissioned to do a series for Melbourne’s famed dance company Chunky Move, is represented by Beam Contemporary, and we’re proud to say, she’s no stranger to the Abbotsford Convent. Her works are visually engaging, and through a dialogue between performance and photography, they explore ideas around gender and space. 

    The story between Clare and the Convent began in 2011 when Clare exhibited ‘Light Weight’ at Beam Contemporary, a series of photographs exploring just that – light and weight. The images show Clare jumping in various locations that to the naked eye could be anywhere, but to Convent-acquainted eyes, those textures are familiar. 

    Soon after ‘Light Weight’, Clare was invited to be part of a group show presented by the Abbotsford Convent. 'Let Me Out' was an initiative to take art out of the gallery context and into the Convent grounds. Seventeen artists were involved in the project, with work spread across Sacred Heart, an area of the site that was rarely activated. Clare’s work saw three handmade light boxes in the Magdalen Laundries shine photographs of her moving within the upstairs-unrestored spaces of Sacred Heart.

    It was only last year that Clare returned to the Convent, to further investigate themes of femininity, the body and movement in the history-rich Sacred Heart and Rosina buildings. There is something very beautiful and intriguing about Clare’s work within these spaces – the juxtaposition between the past, when those rooms housed women who covered their bodies and could not move freely, to Clare’s freedom to explore the female body and concepts around identity. That series of images became ‘Interact’, a solo exhibition that showed at Carriageworks as part of the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair.

    Now, Clare is working on a new series that further explores ideas around the female body within space. This time, Clare is collaborating with visual artist, curator and gallery director Simone Hine. Simone is the co-founder and co-director of two galleries: Screenspace, a not-for-profit independent screen-based gallery; and Beam Contemporary, a commercial gallery based in Melbourne’s CBD. Simone’s art practice involves photography, performance, moving image and installation. Simone is also interested in time-based site-specific projects, another curiosity she shares with Clare and another element that draws them together for ‘Stages’.

    For this collaboration, Clare and Simone worked in the Rosina Auditorium. They worked independently, each responding to the space with their own ideas and aesthetic, before bringing everything together. Clare’s photographs will sit alongside a multi-channel video by Simone, where the two artists will simultaneously present their own ways of understanding and portraying the female body within the space. The exhibition will be presented in Brisbane at Boxcopy from 5 – 26 April, with the opening from 6pm on the 5th, as part of the Queensland Festival of Photography

    New works by Simone Hine & Clare Rae
    Opening: Saturday 5 April, 6pm
    Showing: Saturday 5 – Saturday 26 April 2014
    Boxcopy, Brisbane, Australia

    Read more about Clare Rae / Read more about Simone Hine / Read more about 'Stages'

    Images (from top to bottom):
    Clare Rae, 'Untitled (glass plates)', 'Melbourne Now', National Gallery of Victoria, 2013
    Clare Rae, 'Light Weight', Installation View, Beam Contemporary, 2011
    Clare Rae, 'Untitled (Magdalen)', 'Let Me Out', Abbotsford Convent, 2012
    Clare Rae, 'Untitled #2', 'Interact', Sydney Contemporary, 2013
    Beth Wilkinson, Clare Rae creating work for 'Stages', Abbotsford Convent, 2014
    Beth Wilkinson, Simone Hine creating work for 'Stages', Abbotsford Convent, 2014
    Beth Wilkinson, Simone Hine creating work for 'Stages', Abbotsford Convent, 2014