WA Now – Gregory Pryor: Looking Glass

WA Now – Gregory Pryor: Looking Glass

WA artist Gregory Pryor has created an immersive new work Looking Glass which draws upon his investigations into isolated landscapes of Western Australia which can be read as meditations upon the residues of country as well as explorations of the role that environmental and cultural loss plays in shaping the landscape.

For his WA Now project, Gregory Pryor undertook a field trip to the region of the tragic Esperance bush fires of 2015. By setting himself in amongst the charcoal remains of the devastated terrain and taking a series of 360-degree photographic notations, Pryor formulated the idea for his panoramic work and its overwhelming immersive quality. Similar to the bush’s capacity to regenerate after fire, Looking Glass in some ways can be seen as a reassembled landscape, articulated on 1585 sheets of paper.

Pryor has worked with a team of student assistants to populate each sheet with a broad vocabulary of manual marks, first working the paper in veils of watercolour, before adding the fugitive and friable layers of charcoal. Finally, thousands of small glass beads are added into this matrix of wet and dry media, contributing a reflective element to the porous and absorbent black.

This new body of work aims to involve viewers in a profoundly moving encounter with one of the oldest exposed land masses on earth.

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About the artist

Gregory Pryor is an artist, writer and academic with a practice spanning thirty-five years after graduating from RMIT University in 1980. While painting on canvas and paper has been the main focus of his practice, he has also embraced performance, video, installation and object-based work. In 2003 Pryor relocated to Perth to teach visual art at Edith Cowan University and from exploratory filed trips into the landscape of the Yilgarn Craton in Western Australia, he identified new forms and concepts to drive his practice and to investigate a sense of place and how loss shapes landscape.

His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Queensland Art Gallery and numerous corporate, university and private collections.

Artist acknowledgment

AGWA TV

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This project has been funded by The WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Edith Cowan University.

AGWA is closed until 16 October for a final stage of redevelopment works. Details