Cloudburst Exhibition in Brooklyn Explores Organic Transitions in Nature and in Life

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Capturing the essence of fluctuations observed in nature and throughout life, “Cloudburst” opened at Chasm Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn on December 12. Showcasing works by Australian visual artists, Christian Lock and Claire Pendrigh, the exhibition fuses together each artist’s work thematically under a rubric of natural contrasts from the spontaneous to the orderly and the ironic to the sincere, ultimately communicating the ebb and flow of the human experience and of the world around us.


Christian Lock is a painter from Adelaide (SA), Australia whose work finds its influences in the ocean. As a surfer, Christian’s appreciation for the contrast of sea and sky is pronounced as his understanding of the varying temperaments of the surf as determined by changes in weather patterns. His paintings, in particular, the ones at this exhibition (Untitled I and Untitled II) portray this contrast in full effect. On one piece, the artist uses an air gun to smoothly move the acrylic grey and white wave-like patterns across the flat canvas, while the other (facing on the opposite wall) features similar patterns, only the undulating folds of the linen canvas are gathered and draped sensuously along the wall, echoing the aesthetics of the Italian Arte Povera movement by way of exposing the rawness of materials, the vulnerability that exudes from the surface of the canvas is powerful.


Hovering in the center of the room are three pieces by Claire Pendrigh of Bunbury (WA), Australia: Star Cloud (RCrB), Star Cloud (MACHO-18.3325,148) and Star Cloud (EROS2). Inspired by astrophysics, these knitted (yes, with yarn) carbon clouds build on the organic theme of the Cloudburst exhibition. Scientifically, carbon clouds are understood as formative sources for all life forms. They are knitted together visually in much the same way as life and the universe is knitted together in order to give it form and function.


The visual is accented by audible enhancement, as the sound of breathing provides the soundtrack to the exhibit, again representing life’s source, continuity, and progression. The interaction between the artists’ works, the shimmering color and glow of the paintings, with the voluptuous Star Clouds at the center emulates a relationship that is elemental and even subtly sexual.


“There’s a beautiful sense of warmth and wonder about this show,” said Jessica Holburn, curator of Chasm Gallery. “People walk in and are immediately attracted to Claire’s vibrant Star Clouds, offset by Christian’s creamy canvases, both undertake these kinds of curvaceous compositional qualities. Unlike a lot of work that intimidates the viewer, these pieces have a very seductive, welcoming presence – you want to touch them.”


Christian Lock has spent 2014 as a visiting scholar at Parsons – The New School for Design in New York. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and in many parts of the world, including Cairo Biennale in Egypt and Art Dubai in the UAE.


Claire Pendrigh is a graduate of the ANU School or Art in Canberra, Australia and has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Australia, the United Kingdom and Iceland. She will be taking up an artist residency in Japan in 2015.


“Cloudburst ” runs from now until December 22. Chasm Gallery is located at 56 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn. For more information about this exhibition, or the artists, visit Chasm Gallery at, or contact Jessica Holburn by e-mail at


Jack Raplee is a Queens native with over 20 years of journalistic experience covering industries as varied as entertainment, manufacturing, engineering and consumer electronics as well as hard news. Apart from writing, he has enjoyed additional exposure in radio work, standup comedy and modeling. While his career trajectory has brought him far and wide, living in places like Nassau, Bahamas; Sungnam, Korea; and Jackson, Mississippi he always seems to end up in his native NYC. Jack is currently working on a yet-to-be-titled book providing his unique perspective on his native Queens as seen from the table of a local diner.

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  1. Pingback: Cloudbursts in New York | Claire Pendrigh

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