White Male, 36 Years Old, Average Height, No Pets, Out of Shape and Anxious
17 May–12 July 2014
In ‘White Male, 36 Years Old, Average Height, No Pets, Out of Shape and Anxious’ artist and musician Mathew Sawyer presents new and existing documentary and conceptual artworks spanning the past fifteen years. Dry humour and perceptive observations link the many mediums used throughout Sawyer’s work, which include drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and music.
Works described by the artist as ‘documentary artworks’ involve making connections with unknowing collaborators. One example is the earliest work in the exhibition ‘Untitled’ (2000). Presented as a short text, Sawyer documents his daily routine of buying a Granny Smith apple from the same market stall on a daily basis for over a month until the vendor remembers the order. Another example is the series ‘Ping Pong Ball’ (ongoing), where, on his birthday each year, the artist lists five words that summarise the year of his life onto a ping pong ball, before posting it through a stranger’s letterbox. Often the artist’s involvement in the story ends here. The involuntary participant is left to unravel the mystery, while Sawyer frames the unending possibilities of these incomplete narratives, making for a poetic reflection on our daily lives.
New works produced for the exhibition chronicle the larger sentiments and smaller details of the artist’s life. ‘Self- Portrait in Pennies’ (2014), a stack of pennies from each year of the artist’s life, graduates in colour from oldest to newest and teeters on the brink of imminent collapse. New paintings and drawings included in the exhibition contain recurring figures and are a continuation of Sawyer’s image making practice based on familiar, existential themes.