Exhibition Dates: Saturday 16 March - 7 April 2012. Closed Good Friday, open Easter Saturday.

Opening: Saturday 17 March 3-5pm

Artist Talks Saturday 17 March 3:30pm.


For his Studio 12 exhibition, Darren Sylvester had a new series of four polished bronze sculptures opening in Studio 12 at Gertrude Contemporary. These sculptures continued a series of cosmetic masks made in 2007 from wood.

With titles that deliberately fragment and allude to the exotic, cosmetic facemasks play with modern witch-doctory designed to moisturise, cleanse and whiten. Each mask was constructed in a way to appear as if it arrived from an imaginary ancient tribe that holds secret elixirs.

Beginning as plaster sculptures of each named facemask, these works are layered with wax that is cast into bronze. Polished to create a sense of modern allure they resemble golden death masks, eyes and mouths frozen open in horror, recalling all the attempts through the ages for a more beautiful life.

Darren Sylvester's multidisciplinary practice involves photography, video, sculpture, music production and performance. Usually involving a wide range of pop culture elements and narratives, each medium is given a high-end production sheen or twist to be transformed into a discussion on contemporary ennui, pathos and mortality.

In 2011 Sylvester was named as one of Melbourne’s Top 100 in (melbourne) magazine and won the 2011 Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert photography award. Sylvester has exhibited widely within Australia and internationally with work held in several public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Art Gallery of Western Australia.

IMAGE CREDIT: Alpha Arbutin, polished bronze, 31 x 23 x 13 cm, 2012
Courtesy of Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney