Monday, August 12, 2013

Inner Prisons and Escapes at Art India Gallery

Starting this month, Art India Gallery presents a dual exhibition by Chuckmatrix Clip, Inner Prisons, and Dan Freeland, Escapes. Art India Gallery is curated by Quan Lavender.

Quan gave me early access to the joint show. The formal opening is August 14th. Thank you, Quan! Images are provided courtesy of Quan Lavender and the artists, Chuckmatrix and DanFreeland.

The show juxtaposes two different approaches to the same feeling or mood....feeling locked in. Chuckmatrix's exhibit is a mental ward, a prison of the mind for the mentally insane. His work shows darkness, confinement, and deep agony.

Dan's work on the other hand, uses bright colors. However, the material is not happier either. Art is the escape. He says in his note, "Porn as an escape for some, an anathema for others, but to simply dismiss it or hide it under the bed denies us the ability to understand something about who we are. I look for the art in it." I agree. I think of it as being another form of self expression. Self expression is liberating.

I really love how Quan Lavender writes about the two differing works in her curator's note.

Curator's Note:

The sculptures of Chuckmatrix Clip always had a strong dark side for me. About 6 months ago I asked him if he would like to exhibit at Art India Gallery and to concentrate on this dark side. Luckily he agreed.

I considered that the juxtaposition of the colourful, bright patterns of Dan Freeland's art would provide Chuck's work with the greatest possible contrast. Both artists started to work with enthusiasm and  they happily have included me in their creative process, inviting me in from time to time and letting me watch their work growing. In the hours we spent together we had intense talks, from which resulted the title of this exhibition: INNER PRISONS AND ESCAPES.

Chuck submitted, in the meantime, a work to the UWA Contest called “The Scent of Her”. The sculpture showed a man lying in bed crying, with a bear in his arms. The work touched me deeply.  It requires a large amount of courage for a man, with typical male attitudes, to reveal a self portrait like this.

This sculpture is the final piece of the upcoming exhibition. It tells the story of Chuckmatrix's struggle with mental disease and gives the visitor a strong impression of being hospitalized in an asylum.

We talked about self perception, the thin line between mental health and disease, prejudices and the hard road to recovery.

In contrast, Dan's use of pornographic images which are processed to colourful patterns, lead to other talks about cybersex and the SL users who are just here for erotic adventures. Dan works for the first time with animated textures. The slow, constantly changing patterns and repetitions are not only beautiful but they also inspire one to reflect on addiction.

And suddenly I understood...

The INNER PRISONS may look more frightening but they provide a seed of hope whilst the yearned for ESCAPES look bright, but have potentially dangerous undercurrents.

- Quan Lavender


I've known Chuckmatrix for a year maybe 2 years when I started blogging for UWA. His work is always intriguing, dark, thoughtful and thought provoking. We have discussed mental illness many times and I respect him for getting through the pain. Mental illness can break you or you overcome it. I feel stronger and more aware of the mind's power through knowing Chuck. Thank you, Chuck for sharing your visions and your life with us through your work. Incidentally, he passed me a link to a video that shows some of his work: And of course, you can see his work also at his gallery, ::CMC:: Designs Gallery.

DanFreeland has been in SL for over 2 years. He is an artist and graphic designer. DanFreeland recently had an exhibit at Aneli's Gallery on February 26th of this year. His work was featured alongside Maryva Maya, Nur Moo, and Rubben Acajou. He also had a gallery spot at Nitroglobous galler, unfortunately it is no longer showing in SL. I asked Dan when he started in the art scene. His reply:  "I started in 2007 as Pete Jiminy, showing rl paintings and participating in group sculptural collaboratives. I left SL for a few years and came back in 2011 showing this new direction specifically." Welcome back, Dan! We look forward to seeing more art and creativity from you in the future! Thank you, Dan! :-)

So that's my summation of Inner Prisons. Please, visit when you can! I'll post the slurl soon.

Have fun and enjoy the art!

Victoria Lenoirre

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