To coincide with the solo exhibition A Measure of Disorder at Gertrude Glasshouse, Naarm / Melbourne, a changing rotation of small works will be on view in the ReadingRoom library. These works are studies for larger paintings included in A Measure of Disorder (Gertrude Glasshouse), both exhibitions are on view until 9 April, 2022.
Noun: The process of atrophying or state of having atrophied.
Verb: (Of body tissue or an organ) to waste away, especially as a result of the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution. ‘The calf muscles will atrophy’. Gradually decline in effectiveness or vigour due to underuse or neglect. ‘The imagination can atrophy from lack of use.’
Noun: entropy; plural noun: entropies; symbol: S
Physics: a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. ‘The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time’. Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder. Information theory: a logarithmic measure of the rate of transfer of information in a particular message or language.
Living with aphasia — a condition that can impact the ability to communicate — the artist’s mother Jennifer regularly uses the words atrophy and entropy as placeholder words in written and verbal conversation. Beginning in the studio with these two words, Darcey Bella Arnold tracks and drifts through family histories, artworks, and linguistics to form a body of research that arises from these terms. With touchpoints in Ferdinand de Saussure’s Structural Linguistics of thought and sound, the oddity of René Magritte’s image treachery, typography of Mutlu Çerkez, the orange arc of Elsworth Kelly, Louise Bourgeois’s Sainte Sebastienne, pedagogical visual languages (the daughter of teachers) and the elasticity of language in concrete poetry, the practice of research informs Arnold’s painting and sculptural works.
This research is a way of filling the body of the artist with the resonances that move through atrophy and entropy. The artist’s practice provides a methodology for processing these embodiments through a painting and sculptural logic that enacts a measure of disorder.
Darcey Bella Arnold (b. 1986) is an Australian, Melbourne-based artist of British and Scottish descent. Darcey completed a BFA, Drawing at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2007), and a BFA, Honours at Monash University, Melbourne (2009). She lives and works in Melbourne.
A selection of recent exhibitions includes: My Mother’s Labour, Sutton Gallery Project Space, Melbourne (2018); Folded brick, Darcey Bella Arnold and Deimantas Narkevičius (LTU) organised by Paulius Andriuškevičius and Nicholas Kleindienst, Neon Parc Project Space, 215 Albion St, Brunswick, Melbourne (2018); and Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, Testing Grounds, Melbourne Arts Precinct (2017).
Darcey’s curatorial projects include Duck on the Pond, involving artists Elena Betros López, Noriko Nakamura, Lisa Radford, Salote Tawale, Roberta Joy Rich and Kalinda Vary at an offsite location in Melbourne (2018); and Bricklaying with artists Dan Moynihan, Georgina Cue and Adam Wood at Rearview Gallery Project Space, Melbourne (2017).
Darcey has been a finalist in the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (2019) and the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2018). She attended an Artist-In-Residence program with Eastside International (ESXLA) Los Angeles (2016), and was included in Kimposium, a social sciences symposium curated by Dr Meredith Jones at Brunel University, London (2015).
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