In our current period of changes and shifts, 4A is pleased to invite you to engage with Holding Patterns, a series of exhibitions highlighting and supporting the work of Sydney-based artists Kien Situ, Crossing Threads®, Shireen Taweel and Sofiyah Ruqayah.
In a period of uncertainty and stasis, artists have demonstrated the capacity of human creativity through artistic innovation, lateral thought, and inspired action.
These exhibitions will utilise our ground-floor gallery space and windows out onto Haymarket’s streets.
Referring to the aeronautical manoeuvre of an airplane forced to delay their landing procedure to avoid potential disaster, a holding pattern suggests divergence from an established routine and the suspension of normalcy. Crucially, it is an action of adaptability: a pilot executing specific turns whilst accounting for wind speed and direction to establish its course. The pattern achieves seemingly limitless flight, looping until given permission to commence its landing operations, once again returning to earth and reality. It is in this moment of suspension that we find ourselves undertaking our own rituals of contemplation, addressing our own pathways forward in a time of stillness.
For the exhibiting artists COVID-19 has been an unexpected intervention, a force majeure. Forced out of their routines, artists have now been given opportunities to reflect on what it means to be creatively-engaged during a time of crisis. Contemplating artistic practice with the arts industry shut down, Holding Patterns demonstrates the resilience and ingenuity of artists during this time.. Some have taken time to rest and recharge, quietly laying projects to rest to make way for new ideas, while others have pivoted to hone their craft.
Through textiles, sculptures, metallurgy, drawing and painting, the artists of Holding Patterns deftly navigate cultural histories, identities, object permanence and transmutation through process-based practice. As the third exhibiting artist, Shireen Taweel modernises the traditional art of copper-smithing to create pieces blurring the line between jewellery and sculpture, opening dialogues of shared histories and relationships between communities of fluid identities.
Fusing together their own creative impulses within traditional methods, the artists of the exhibition series make mass departures from ‘normal’ culturally-concerned art making. It is within these strays from tradition and the ‘expected’ that new cultural dialogues can begin to emerge, representing the hybridity of Asian-Australian contemporary art practice. By merging traditional Asian techniques and labour-intensive processes, Holding Patterns relishes in craftsmanship and provides opportunities to glimpse the artists’ material worlds of contemplation and stillness, offering momentary suspension from our own holding patterns.