TJ Bateson - 'Pause II'
Wednesday 5 July - Sunday 13 August 2017
How appropriate for TJ Bateson to be the inaugural exhibition at Tacit Galleries in Collingwood, having founded the original Tacit Contemporary Art in Thornbury 17 years ago. And how appropriate for artist and educator Euan Heng to launch the exhibition. Euan and Tim’s paths first crossed back in the 90s at Monash and, more recently (2016), at RMIT when Euan was the external assessor for the MFA course.
Once engaged, we are no longer the passive observer - we are provoked into a response, a sophisticated, ethereal response to fundamental material processes. So stated John Rabling in The Pinoteca, July 2016, of Bateson’s work which explores an iteration of mark that embraces and celebrates machine-made aesthetics alongside evidence of the hand of the artist within an immersive, visual experience.
Through introspection into the personal meaning, his work has a gentle, calming influence that is striving to be immersive - a totality of aesthetic experience - and intriguing, process-based that both requires and reflects time spent by both the artist and the viewer. It looks to the essay in discretion, inwardness and silence of artists such as Agnes Martin in its minimalist, ethereal quiet.
But Tim has also, throughout his practice, continued his exploration of colour and low tonality, which have become synonymous with his work. Quiet, muted tonal shifts of a contemplative nature and the broken moment of pattern call for reflection, allowing the many layers of the artist’s work to unfurl and unfold.
To him, the subtle and easily overlooked is the most striking.
Long influenced by Australian artist Ian Fairweather in celebrating meditative pattern and rhythm of quiet tonality, Bateson looks to embody, through multiple iterations, a passage of thought, respond to time, take a breath and replenish self whilst providing a vehicle for others to contemplate and re-evaluate.