Illuminating Evidence

The Geelong Gallery, Victoria 2000


Felicity Spear Illuminating Evidence
(Digitally manipulated pin-hole photograph)

Is everything as it seems ? Felicity Spear and Sarah Winfrey conduct an investigation into the more esoteric aspects of the museum using x-ray, pin-hole photography, painting, light, peep-holes and mirrors, engaging the viewer in a process of contemplation, discovery and reconstruction. The evidence – the Geelong Gallery, the building (in the process of renovation), its contents, its public and private face and the viewing experience. The viewers, as investigators, are asked through this collaborative installation to consider the interpretation of the site, and the hidden meanings that might be attached to it.

Spear’s pin-hole photographs and other photographic works record the interior and exterior Gallery spaces pre - renovation, unseen elements of the storage spaces and the building work in progress. The painted cardboard tubes/columns, reference both the early architectural and monumental structure of the building. They are overlaid with geometric and minimal painted veils referencing more recent art works in the Gallery. As they move around, the polyvinyl reflective column engages viewers in a distorted view of themselves and the objects in the space, somewhat like the action of time and memory. The peep-hole images of the pre-renovated Gallery seen through different lengths of tube set into the walls of a specially constructed and red – lit Archive Room, again engage viewers in the act of seeing into a space distanced from themselves, playing with time, memory and process as does the pin-hole photograph and the act of photography.

Winfrey’s radiographic images of objects, silverware, ceramics and historic frames from the collection are digitally manipulated and made into inkjet prints. They are placed into simulated museum cabinets. These illuminated light boxes play with reflection and the process of memory and discovery, while also referencing curatorial activity behind the scenes

The collaborative work Edge by the two artists, suspended on a corner of the Archive Room references the role of edge and frame as fundamental considerations in working with gallery space. A convex mirror placed in the corner of the opposite wall visually draws this piece together and simultaneously allows it to be viewed from a number of different positions around the Gallery, both proximate and distant.


The Geelong Gallery and the four artists participating in this project wish to record their grateful thanks to the following individuals and organisations for their generous support and enthusiastic cooperation in the preparation and presentation of this exhibition. The involvement of all parties concerned, including some whose names do not appear here, is greatly appreciated.

The Visual Arts Craft Fund of the Australia Council, the Commonwealth Government’s arts funding and advisory body; the City of Greater Geelong; Gollings+Pidgeon; Geelong Radiological Clinic and St. John of God Hospital; John Lycett and the Department of Construction at the Gordon Institute of TAFE; Luminova Architectural Visualisations; Peter Downie of Barwon Books; Faggs Mitre 10; Pen-y-lan Productions; Dr Peter Hill; Dr. Kevin Murray; Pru J. Evans; and Ann Carew.