5 February – 1 March 2020

Vicky Browne


Last year I was staring at the front facade of architect John James’s 1967 Readers Digest building in Surry Hills. I love the way the building is simultaneously forward and backward looking. Medieval inspired bronze castings are interlaced with sleek modernist brickwork; the fortress-like solidity of the exterior echoes epic 1970s Sci-Fi sets or perhaps a nod to Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. For me there is something important for our times about the way the building is slightly apocalyptic in its scale and aesthetics. Similarly, down the road at 28 Foveaux St, just after the Readers Digest building, there is a foyer of ceramic tiles created by Dybka Tichy. This too has a future-in-the-past feeling, simultaneously futuristic and filmic while being firmly anchored in the aesthetics of the 1970s.

This flipping between future and past aesthetics allows for imagined futures as well as present critique to be explored. For this exhibition I play with materials and aesthetics to create an installation where the present is framed by both the future and the past, allowing for a critique of our times to emerge.

Vicky Browne, January 2020

Photos: Jessica Maurer