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Summer Projects VII – Keren Simmons, Amanda Schunker, Rowena Martinich, Michael McCafferty, Marnie Ross, Jahkarli Romanis and Ember Fairbairn.

23 January - 16 February

Summer Projects VII

Group exhibition

Summer Projects is an annual group exhibition showcasing recent work created over the Summer break, from some new and exciting artists to Boom. This year for our seventh edition, Summer Projects VII will include recent arts graduates from Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and RMIT alongside established artists. The exhibition is taking place across our two sites, Boom and Big Boom.

Keren Simmons

“I just recently completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts where I specialised in drawing and printmaking. During my second year of study I had the privilege of travelling to Japan to participate in a print exhibition. During this trip I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Tokyo’s streets signs The colours and designs were informative yet so simple and visually alluring.

… I am fascinated by the visual conventions of street signage and the function of the sign as an informative, yet beautiful image, produced by the correlation of colour and symbol, and its operation at the intersection of both written and visual information. My intention is to adopt the visual conventions of the sign and apply them to my paintings in order to produce works that have multiple capacities. Functioning as objects and as illustrations and as historic visual reminders, the gateway represents a threshold, a symbol for the point of transition between separated spaces, a barrier that invites access.”

Amanda Schunker

“The land we tread is a revered place, it commands one to sit and listen. To be silent in its presence awaiting its tales. To observe every scar and physically interpret that which we know little about. For it can never be taken on as a whole. It’s entirety too magnificent. Marks are put down, a dialogue immerges, a rhythm builds momentum. There is much layering and colliding of marks, some are scratched, others blocked out. A process of excavation, until the artery is found, and the painting finds its course. An intangible process, that periodically evolves. It is sometimes gruelling, working on the precipice of consciousness, until reaching the sublime, when something of what one was grapelling for is intrinsically revealed.”

Australian artist Amanda Schunker graduated from RMIT with a BA in Textile Design, working under the influence of revered artists such as David Band and Yvonne Audette. Today as a full time Artist, it is evident that her accomplished knowledge of colour and mark making has never left the textile skills inherent in her. Amanda lives and works in Bayside Melbourne.


Rowena Martinich

“The works that I have created for the Summer Projects exhibition further my investigations into the immersive act of painting and colour study within my expressive studio painting practice. Chromatic intensity continues to pervade my work. Giant liquescent gestures sweep, marble and drag across the canvas surface as I build layers of paint on canvases that are laid across the studio floor. Colour is poured, swept, pushed, splattered and sprayed; and again, translucent washes are layered, worked into and rubbed out; paintings are stapled to the wall, analysed, removed, placed back on the floor…”

Rowena is a well established artist working across realms of public art, painting installations, permanent and temporary interventions, murals within streetscapes, awe inspiring architectural applications and powerful compositions on canvas. Rowena lives and works on the Surfcoast.


Michael McCafferty

“This work is part of an ongoing exploration into diary keeping, meditations, and translation. Simple parts of day to day life; bathroom tiles, schedules, the walk to work, are documented and translated. The translations are simply technical impositions like tracing, collage and re photography. Slowly the materials turn into a composition until finally reduced to a simple painting or print. The final works then have dual meanings. The first is just as a simple, sometimes minimal or abstract composition, and secondly as a record (albeit a convoluted one) of my life.”

Michael’s work is a form of extended diary keeping in which he reinterprets his own past and memories both true and false, idealised and misremembered. His artworks document private, interior and architectural spaces, as well as the family, friends and events that once existed and occurred within them.


Marnie Ross

“This body work is inspired by a recent tour of Central Australia, with a particular focus on the dramatic colours and light experienced in this unique environment. Marnie was captivated by the graphic lines defining the landscape as strong shadows are cast and the red earth and rock is illuminated, particularly during sunrise and sunset.”

Marnie Ross is a contemporary painter & printmaker based in Sydney. She has been a finalist in numerous art prizes including the Paddington Art Prize and Ravenswood Womens’ Art Prize.

Marnie’s abstract works are a response to organic forms, in particular the evolving shadow patterns cast by details seen in the natural environment. Nature’s ever-changing designs created by light, movement and time inspire multi-layered compositions of vividly coloured shapes. Her work represents the moments captured as nature is continually reorganised. Activation of the surface is an integral part of Marine’s practice and adds to the diversity of texture as bold graphic forms float on a base of wood or linen. Marnie explores the contrast between soft dusky tones and saturated bold colours, further enhanced by the variation of paint application with thin frosty glazes and solid layers.


Jahkarli Romanis

“This ongoing body of work has been created in response to the inaccurate and often reductive representations of Aboriginal peoples created in post-colonial photographs. It explores my own identity as a Pitta Pitta woman and the construction of that identity through photography. These photographs are a pursuit for control and agency over my portrayal through self-portraiture, rendering myself visible within a medium that was historically used to misrepresent my people. Through the use of layering I have “submersed” myself back into Country – the landscape that is the link between my culture, tribal grounds and where I exist now. It acknowledges the importance of Country to cultural identity which was not represented in post-colonial photographs, but also the pain and yearning experienced when being away from this landscape. These are images of an embodied experience, and the embodiment of my culture. I employ photography as a tool to render my Aboriginal identity visible.”

Jahkarli is a Melbourne based artist interacting and creating works with visual mediums such as photography and moving image. Working within a conceptually driven practice, I unpack and explore cultural identity and the complications of representation through technologies like photography.


Ember Fairbairn

Ember Fairbairn’s work endeavours to break spells cast upon her own perception and re-weave new ones, pushing against self-determined boundaries. Against these edges, the painter can sit inside the discomfort of the new, the abject and awkward and also beauty, utilising systems of abstraction to address metaphysical issues. Through gesture and colour, these paintings become entities unto themselves. Processes of erasure and transparent layers are often evident in the work. These compositions reveal the conceptual and visual processes of layering: imbuing the work with the artists experience of place, dream states and the contemplation of re-written and obscured histories.

Ember Fairbairn has based herself primarily in Melbourne and Queensland, satisfying her love of contemporary culture and the need to be immersed in remote parts of nature. Fairbairn’s practice focuses primarily on painting and she graduated from the VCA in late 2019 with a Masters in Contemporary Art.


Exhibition runs 23 January – 16 February 

Opening Celebrations Saturday 1st Febuary, 1-3 pm 

To see a full listing of this exhibition click here.


23 January
16 February


Boom Gallery


Boom Gallery
11 Rutland St Newtown
Geelong, Australia
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