Innervisions, the latest exhibition from cherished Australian artist George Byrne, opens today at Olsen Gallery, Sydney; signalling the photographer's first showing of new works in Australia since 2019.
Over the course of the last couple of years, many of us have felt the world close in around us. This sentiment rings true for none more so than those working in creative industries. In true artistic fashion, George Byrne responded to this dire reality by pushing the limits of his chosen medium, photography. The result? A realisation that photography is in fact a malleable medium, not a static one.
It's this perspective that Innervisions pivots off. During the severe Californian lockdowns in 2020, Byrne approached his art-making process with a new sense of vigour. No longer relying on the one-dimensional aspect of photography to carry his work, he instead experimented with abstraction and collage, unlocking a freer, more fluid pathway for creating.
“The term innervisions relates to my own gradual departure from what is literally seen by the eye, to what is felt and imagined," said Byrne of his most recent work.
"By creating dreamscapes, I’m looking to merge these two modes of thought and explore the tension between them. I had begun to feel the limitations of conventional photography, and this increasingly abstract approach has allowed me to push the medium beyond the facade and be more expressive," he continued.
Lensed between Miami, Los Angeles and Sydney, Innervisions is an assemblage of both analogue and digital photographs fused together into one of Byrne's signature pastel-washed landscapes. Reality is spliced in the images, hovering between what is real and the surrealist dreamscapes that flourish in Byrne's mind. Find industrial and barren urban architecture, dressed up and distorted in dimension and depth to create a vision of the sublime.
As it turns out, restriction is the mother of invention, rather than necessity.