9th — 20rd July 2014
"To make the works for Means the recently returned Australian-Bangladeshi artist Omar Chowdhury headed out into the Australian bush seeking a form of simple and focused sensing. Carrying stills and cinematic cameras, making paintings and sculptures, writing stories and finding objects, he ventured into the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, crossed the Great Dividing Range, and wandered out to the remnant Victorian gold towns, searching. Haunted by the ‘weirdness’ of the trees, the totemic termite mounds, the warbling creeks and dirt packed roads, he felt himself and his thinking seep into the darkening landscape. The traces of this spiritual ethereality inheres in his enigmatic photographs, minimalist sculptures, large canvases exposed to the elements, fictions and texts, and the strange and occult video footage of animals, rocks, branches, burnings, machines and the silence of the isolate people. In it, somewhere, lie the means of his being."
"... Cumulatively, these enigmatic works have a strange, elliptic quality. There is a quiet dialogue between them, like viewing sections of a broken narrative, each charged with a totemic significance. In contrast to Ways which hovers over landscapes that are heavily populated and culturally tilled, this exhibition conveys a sense of eerie vacancy and unfamiliarity — it is more absence than presence. ..."
"... This path through the Eastern states, rich with the history of foreign settlement and immigrant industry, is the subject of Chowdhury’s Means, while the literary and artistic legacy of colonial and contemporary art, literature and memoir contributes to his subtle postmortem of cultural and artistic representation. The strength of Chowdhury’s work lies not only in his superior cinematic and photographic depiction of landscape but in his insight and sensitivity to the flaws and contradictions inherent in these human stories."