TJ Bateson - 'Medicated'

Wednesday 27 August - Sunday 14 September 2014


Click here for artwork by TJ Bateson

Reaction to being informed you have Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma does not normally include planning a large-scale, three week solo exhibition that includes raising money for the Peter Mac Foundation. But TJ Bateson, artist and curator with more than 20 years exhibiting history, has done just that.

Diagnosed in January 2014, Bateson was informed that he would be off work as a media teacher for a minimum of 12 months. He would undergo intensive treatment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for six months, including several extended stays in hospital.

Determined to be creative in spite of the diagnosis and with a desperate need to make work throughout the treatment, Bateson will present Medicated at Tacit Contemporary Art.

A known colourist, in Medicated, the artist continues to focus on his fascination with subtle shifts and nuances of colour and tonality. But, where in the past his abstract works may have seen a grey green against a grey violet with touches of a grey red for good measure, in Medicated Bateson has taken a different yet related direction. With precision, a repeated series of stripes, spatially varied and sized, cut across the surfaces, creating a rhythm of both movement and colour, with different shades of reds, blues and greens (as well as those all important greys) juxtaposed with and against each other. On paper, fabric and canvas, he has created a mathematical warp and weft of pencil and brush, a mirrored tightness of needle and thread, influenced as they are by rugs and fabrics.

Taking that influence to its next stage, and in a radical new departure for his art practice, six 3 x 2 metre rugs are included in the exhibition, as well as bed linen made by the artist himself as a result of the desire to be cocooned in home luxury following extended stays in hospital and shared wards. A specially commissioned film celebrating creativity in the face of adversity and made possible by crowd sourcing and co-produced with Singing Bowl Media, will feature.

All works in the exhibition were created whilst medicated during treatment, including periods when in hospital itself. 50% of all sales will be donated to the Peter Mac Foundation for the further research into cancer.