fragrance permeates the garments - Alex Selenitsch

fragrance permeates the garments – exhibition by Alex Selenitch, Wunderlich Gallery, University of Melbourne, September 2014.

View of exhibition

Alex Selenitsch
fragrance permeates the garments: books, constructions & drawings
Wunderlich Gallery
MSD Melbourne
September 2014

Notes by the artist, from the catalogue:


My colleague GKM shows me photos by Melbourne artist Greg Easton of Chinese Flower Windows. These screens enable the space behind them to be framed and in focus, but also blurred and marginal. The windows allow a number of different kinds of layers (plants, rocks, walls, insects and birds) to be seen past, but not ignored, while directing attention to a blank wall - an absolute which can and cannot be seen. I am reminded of a poem by Kosen Shoten (Gaoquin Xingdun, 1633-95), which translates as:

brushing against flowers,
permeates the garments

This poem and the photos combine to inspire some drawing in a sketchbook. The drawings overlay marks in crayon, pencil, ink and rubber stamps. This leads to a smaller sketchbook where the images are generated firstly by imprints of the stamp pad itself; these then transmute into tissue paper collages of misty and translucent colours with torn edges.

I look again at some the leftover sheets of plywood I have from the ABP FabLab. Quite a few have groups of accurately cut holes, as if they were contemporary versions of the screens found in the Flower Windows. I start to layer these in shallow space and bring in other leftover sheets of acrylic and expanded aluminium. One by one, the reliefs get flatter and flatter as they are made, and the final three are effectively wall pieces.

…AND (in retrospect) AS IT WILL…

At the end of the exhibition, the reliefs were to be dismantled, the screws returned to the workshop cupboard and the cut-out sheets thrown away. Upcycling is the term for re-using waste by giving it a higher value, rather than cycling it back into the state it was in before. In these works, rubbish was elevated to art: this being a question of category, not judgement. But while the found materials were forms which had been semantically upcycled, materially, they were just in remission. As it happened, none were dismantled or thrown away, but time doesn’t stop waiting…

Stamp & Tissue June 2013
a book of 30 drawings
stamp pad, tissue on paper
A6 sketchbook

Selected Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

2017 ATMOSPHERES, George Paton gallery, UMSU, Melbourne.
2017 Road to Bourke, grahame galleries + editions, Brisbane.
2016 LIMINAL HOUSE, before and after…, ALKF Gallery, MSD, University of Melbourne.
2015 Alex Selenitsch: LIFE/TEXT, MOMA Heide, Melbourne.
2014 Fragrance permeates the garments, Wunderlich Gallery, University of Melbourne.
2013 HORIZON, grahame galleries + editions, Brisbane
2013 AGORA: shields, maps & transparencies, Place Gallery, Melbourne
2012 Travel Drawings, Wunderlich Gallery, University of Melbourne.
2012 flotsamandjetsam, Place gallery, Melbourne.
2011 Ideal City, Place Gallery, Melbourne.
2010 Mack’s Stack, Craft Victoria, Melbourne.
2010 Improvisations: blocks and sticks, Place Gallery, Melbourne.
2008 How are things at Home? Geelong Gallery, Geelong.
2008 Line Corrections, Place Gallery, Melbourne.

Group exhibitions

2018 Power & imagination: conceptual art, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
2018 Sweeney Reed and Strines Gallery, MOMA Heide, Melbourne.
2018 Taking up with Modernism, Delmar gallery, Sydney.
2017 Call of the Avante-Garde, MOMA Heide, Melbourne.
2017 6th ab+mf, Project and Webb Galleries, QCA, Brisbane.
2016 Une histoire du Livre d’artiste…,Université Rennes, France.
2016 ACCA in the City, Melbourne CBD.
2016 WORDS, WORDS, WORDS, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne.
2015 Small Publishers, Danks Street, Waterloo, Sydney.
2014 CON*TRA*PUN*TAL, Danks Street, Waterloo, Sydney.
2014 Concrete Poetry Now, City Library, Melbourne.
2013 The Ongoing Gaga Saga, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney.
2013 LIKE MIKE, Linden Gallery, St. Kilda, Melbourne.
2012 Merchants of War, Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney.
2012 Lessons in History Vol II- democracy, grahame galleries, Brisbane.
2011 Born to Concrete, Heide MOMA, Melbourne.
2010 Constellations, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne.
2010 WOOD + cardboard, Wunderlich Gallery, University of Melbourne.
2009 Post, Place Gallery, Melbourne.
2008 A Slip of the Tongue, Nexus Gallery, Lion Arts Centre, Adelaide.
2008 Visual Word, Project Space/Spare Room, RMIT, Melbourne.
2008 Portraits of Artists, Place Gallery, Melbourne.

Selected publications with creative works

Sue Cramer & Leslie Harding. 2017. Call of the Avant-Garde: constructivism and Australian Art. Heide Museum of Modern Art: Melbourne. p102, p156.

Alex Selenitsch. 2016. LIMINAL HOUSE, before & after…texts, drawings, objects 2007-2016. MSD: Melbourne.

Linda Short. 2015. Alex Selenitsch: LIFE/TEXT. Heide Museum of Modern Art: Melbourne.

Alex Selenitsch. 2014. ‘Into Art & Out Again’, in Inflection, Volume 1. Melbourne: MSD. pp18-21.

Alex Selenitsch. 2013. The Book of 3 Times. Melbourne: Codex Australia.

‘Alex Selenitsch, 1946-‘, in Geoffrey Lehman & Robert Gray, eds. 2011. Australian Poetry since 1788. Sydney:UNSW Press. pp767-774.

Alex Selenitsch. ‘Generative Objects’, in Stanislav Roudavski, ed. 2011. MAP: Investigative Designing as an Approach to Architectural Creativity. Melbourne: MSD. pp19-40.

Alex Selenitsch. ‘The Halfway House’, in Jennifer Rutherford & Barbara Holloway, eds. 2010. Halfway House: The Poetics of Australian Spaces. Perth: UWA Publishing, pp 69-87.

Alex Selenitsch. ‘The House of a Missing Family’, in Brent Allpress, ed. 2008. Architectural Design Research, vol 3, number 1. pp57-78.


Dr Alex Selenitsch