Only two more days to see artist Grant Gronewold’s (aka HTMLflowers) solo debut exhibition ‘No Visitors’ on view at Fort Delta from February 5th – 27th.
Gronewold’s long-form narrative comic work-turned-exhibition No Visitors consists of coloured drawings in the form of limited artist proofs and editioned prints. The work attempts to show the complex, painful and often isolating reality of living with a life threatening illness while still favouring and revealing this through a more intimate approach. Rooted firmly in real life experience, Gronewold uses his avatar, Little, to recount the embarrassing, demeaning compromises that often define the lifestyle of the disabled.
Drawing from his time as a chronically ill child visiting Ronald McDonald House, Gronewold uses the logic of insomnia to question the true function of corporate charity; often designed to aid the chronically and life threateningly ill, namely children.
Frequenting the exhibition are looming depictions of Ronald McDonald stalking wandering children in hospital gowns – revealing him as a kind of talent scout in search of new mascots to join him in McDonalds’ ongoing PR crusade to image themselves as a force of good. This major theme of the exhibition – the formation of corporate identity coercively appropriating the plight of others less fortunate – is presented alongside images of negligent doctors practicing paternal procedures on their patients – their faces hidden and disguised behind bright surgical masks.
Gronewold’s style and philosophy for the exhibition deceptively blends Injury, punishment and violation into colourful images, abundant with motifs and bright settings rendered in the waxy, porous textures of coloured pencils – a medium often associated with child’s play and bold imagination. Images of ripe, engorged strawberries being split with enormous razorblades, pop-up flying windows circulating the outskirts of hospital rooms, and wooded allotments appearing as feverish apparitions all ambivalently contribute to a fantastical and renewed picture of the sterile utilities and institutions; seemingly born from tides of contemplative, mindful insight and maddening boredom.
Fort Delta, Shop 59 Capitol Arcade (Basement Leevel) 113 Swanston Street. Enter via Howey Place, Melbourne.
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