McLeavey Gallery

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Slow Meteorite

Milli Jannides
22 Oct – 12 Nov 2022
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides
Slow Meteorite install view
Milli Jannides

About the exhibition

Billions of years old, a meteorite is a fragment of rock or metal that survives passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and appears as a brief flash of light in the sky, called a meteor.

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Billions of years old, a meteorite is a fragment of rock or metal that survives passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and appears as a brief flash of light in the sky, called a meteor.

Meteors are surprisingly common; several thousand occur in the earth’s atmosphere every day. Most, however, go unsighted as they pass over the ocean and uninhabited parts of the world, meaning this extra-terrestrial phenomenon remains wonderfully mysterious.

This is an apt starting point for Milli Jannides’ latest body of work, which, although grounded by familiar images of the physical and natural world, remains enigmatic and ambiguous. Existing outside a specific temporal reality, dream-like landscapes are imagined in murky currents and flowing ribbons of colour.

Painted over a 12-month period, the works emerged slowly – painting ebbed and flowed. Works were painted over; reworked; left alone for months at a time; revisited.

A thread of ideas and inspiration flows through the exhibition, yet the works exist independently and are distinct from one another, demonstrating Milli’s skilful technical and conceptual range. Drawing on a breadth of sources from domestic scenes, such as her young child’s breath on the window (Breathing places), to Pompeiian frescos, ancient mythology, and literature, the works have an open and roaming sense of imaginative freedom.

Seashells, a reference to Aphrodite – goddess of love, fertility and the sea – are a recurring motif. Milli explains, “this recourse to ancient myth came about after I attended an online course on the Decadent movement, run by artist Eleanor Crook. The course encouraged us to see decadence not as an icky artistic dead-end, but as a recurring historical moment in which a particular form of creative freedom emerges. After the first Zoom I doodled some flowers on a shell with a vivid. Later I followed a train of thought which led from the goddess of love, to Pompeii, to decaying bouquets in my sister-in-law’s house, to aliens.”

A pervasive sense of night defines the works. Images flicker into recognition, emerging from a shadowy palette of inky blues, velvet blacks, and misty teals. Slender, elongated legs dance beneath a fringed curtain, and a woman’s face is rendered on a pillowcase.

“Arguably the most decadent aspect of the course for me” says Milli, "was the time-zone: to participate I had to be up midnight-2am Sunday nights. The delirium of those night sessions in some way informs the works.”

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Freely associating
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on canvas, 1200 x 1600 mm
Housed
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on canvas, 270 x 220 mm
Velvet stare
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on pillowcase, 390 x 310 mm
Subterranean shallows
Milli Jannides
oil on canvas, 120 x 180 mm
New unit of measure
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on canvas, 90 x 120 mm
Breathing places
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on canvas, 670 x 850 mm
Excess only
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on linen, 1200 x 900 mm
Gilded copper
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on linen, 300 x 380 mm
Light heightened
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on fabric, 390 x 310 mm
Immedesimarsi
Milli Jannides, 2022
oil on linen, 270 x 350 mm

Artist

Milli Jannides

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