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The assemblages in this exhibition are kinetic. On winding the work, shadows of figures move past the window blinds. The work was made for the Suburban Noir exhibition at the Museum of Sydney, curated by author and historian Peter Doyle, in response to a series of police forensic photographs of Greater Sydney from the 50′s and 60′s. Also participating in the exhibition were Vanessa Berry, Dallas Bray, Rhett Brewer, Charles Cooper, Theresa Darmody, Bruce Latimer, Michael Lewy, Frank Littler, Reg Mombassa, Peter O’Doherty, Ken Searle, Susannah Thorne and Anne Wallace.

This exhibition breaks with the tradition of presenting Sydney as a visual splendour, finding instead a more reserved city. The police photographs capture the spaces left behind: a moody catalogue of vacant lots, empty roads, desolate interiors and everyday fragments of life in these hard-bitten slices of Sydney. Look at these images long enough and everything starts to look like a crime scene. Guest curator Peter Doyle invited a group of visual artists to loan existing works or create new works in response to the forensic photographs. They have responded with diverse visual sensitivities and understanding, finding drama and tragedy but also surprising stateliness and dramatic beauty.  Suburban Noir, Museum of Sydney

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Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney
Tue 2 to Sat 20 October 2012

Di Holdsworth’s new assemblages explore themes of the circus. With music-boxes and hand-made mechanisms she has automated vintage toys and marionettes. The works are constructed in old boxes and tins and are reminiscent of carnival automata and arcade games from the past.

Combining circus characters with those from myths, fairytales and popular culture, the cast in Holdsworth’s assemblages includes clowns, aerialists, circus animals, mermaids, Icarus, Little Red Riding Hood, a princess, Superman and the Devil.

Holdsworth juxtaposes notions of fear, danger, desire and sexuality, against innocence, whimsy and wonder. Wind up one of her works and a clown might embrace Little Red Riding Hood or a trapeze artist might spin, dangling by one leg, from a rope above the body of Superman.