British artist and film-maker Isaac Julien to unveil new exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

  • Jodie Sloan
  • October 4, 2016
  • Comments Off on British artist and film-maker Isaac Julien to unveil new exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Featuring works filmed inside the Icelandic caves of Europe’s largest glacier, Isaac Julien: Refuge marks Julien’s fifth solo exhibition at Sydney’s Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, and will open on October 21st.

Known for his multi-screen installations, Julien is one of Britain’s most influential artists working today, with his cinematic and photographic works combining a rich visual sensuality with some of the world’s most important and politically charged issues. Deriving inspiration from his explorations of geographical areas of change and crisis, Julien’s works offer powerful, poetic, and complex imagery.

Returning to Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery for his fifth solo show, Refuge features the Australian premiere of his latest work Stones Against Diamonds (2015), which was shot inside the Icelandic Vatnajökull caves.

Julien and a 50 man crew took a 400 mile voyage to these isolated caves, part of Europe’s biggest glacier. Inspired to take the trip by a letter from seminal modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi, Julien read the remote landscape as a metaphor for the unconscious, a rich and beautiful, but hard to reach, place.

Stones Against Diamonds is part of an oeuvre that encompasses Julien’s concerns about climate change, the fragility of the Earth, and the cartographies of human displacement.

Sitting alongside this work will be WESTERN UNION: Small Boats (2007), an oddly prophetic work on migrants shot in Sicily. Originally collected as a three part film installation, WESTERN UNION: Small Boats will be represented it’s final installment, The Leopard. Focusing on the movement of people from North Africa to the Mediterranean, fleeing wars and famine, the work was choreographed by Russell Maliphant. The Leopard’s meditations on migration and refugees predates our current controversial debates by almost a decade, juxtaposing the tragedies faced by displaced peoples against the lush interiors of the Palazzo Gangi.

Isaac Julien: Refuge will open at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery on October 21st and will run until November 19th.


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Jodie Sloan

Living, writing, and reading in Brisbane/Meanjin. Likes spooky books, strong cocktails, and pro-wrestling.