Long preoccupied with the regular and universal pattern of the grid, Perth-based artist Gera Woltjer has been scouring sites of urban architecture, construction and everyday domestic spaces, for grid patterns and grid-like materials. Her new print and photographic exhibition GR#D invites visitors to follow her on this visual journey, learning to appreciate just how fundamental grids are to the way we build, organize, and even think.
Curating materials in a bowerbird-like fashion, Woltjer has built up a treasure trove of both quotidian and specialist grids: square tiled panels, fencing, mesh, woven textiles, netting and tapes. Through layering, photographing and crucially, playing with these materials, the artist has produced a series of images and printed samples that appear to sit between art, design and experiment. The result is an exhibition that rejoices in the intricacy, repetition and mystery of the grid.
Gera Woltjer is a meticulous collector: her studio overflows with found and carefully researched materials; her sketchbooks are dense with notes, plans and drawings; her camera and computer are full of images of the often-overlooked patterns, colours and forms of the world around us. Woltjer began her practice in textile art, art education and in developing her strong intuition for working with colour. Working across photography, video, textiles and drawing, Woltjer began to nurture the interest in the patterns of the built environment, that would become a life-long fascination. The particular shapes that pique her notice are regular: grids, fences, tiles, pool lanes. Woltjer reflects on the patterns inherent in these materials and how people use them to organise their belongings, their surroundings, even their thoughts.
Selected Australian and international exhibitions: Projekt3drei, Gedok in Karlsruhe, Germany (2022), Tekenkabinet XS in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2020), Abstracted, FLUX Gallery, Perth WA (2019), C R O S S I N G 2 at Gallery Smith PS in Melbourne (2018) and Coördinaten, the Netherlands (2017). Woltjer's work is represented in collections including Artbank Australia, the Artists Books Collection, State Library of Queensland and the Geraldton-Greenough Art Collection.