New York based artist Ian Strange has returned to his homeland of Australia to create his latest project and exhibition ‘Shadow’. Over a period of three months Strange worked in the suburbs of Western Australia painting five post-war suburban homes entirely matte black. As with his previous projects he worked with a large film and lighting team to dramatically film and photograph the interventions at night. The resulting exhibition ‘Shadow’ opened this month in Sydney, Australia in a pop-up warehouse exhibition as a part of Sydney’s Art Month.
Having created architectural interventions on family homes around the world this is the first time Strange has returned to work in the suburbs he grew up in. Through ’Shadow’ Strange investigates the family home as a social and psychological icon and deconstructs his homeland’s complicated relationship with suburbia and the home. By directly painting the homes he renders these familiar objects unfamiliar, transforming the iconic red-brick Australian home into a void etched into the landscape.
Strange says of this new body of work; “The suburbs have informed so much of Australia’s national identity but seems to undermine a deeper understanding of history and landscape in this country. Shadow is a reaction to that. By painted them black I wanted to symbolically erase them from the landscape.”
‘Shadow’ is a continuation of the artist’s ongoing global body of work investigating the family home which has seen Strange create and document large scale art interventions on suburban homes in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Japan. His recent exhibitions and projects have included ’SUBURBAN’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, ‘FINAL ACT’ at the Canterbury Museum, incorporating uninhabited, post-earthquake affected homes in Christchurch, New Zealand, ‘LANDED’, a full-scale sculptural commission of a house sunken into the forecourt of the Art Gallery of South Australia for the 2014 Biennial of Australian Art and a recent exhibition of his ’SUBURBAN’ body of work with NYC arts organisation Standard Practice.