Artist Marley Dawson grew up in Albury, attending West Albury Public School and Albury High, learning how to make things in his dad’s shed and his mum’s sewing room on Jones St.
Plateau is an exhibition of artworks made across 15 years and represents Dawson’s artistic practice and current place in life. The works touch on ideas relating to aerodynamic testing for military equipment, the aftermath of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2018 Superbowl win, how annoying it can be to get a painting to hang level and the impossibility of actually relaxing. The exhibition space is presented unfinished to represent the temporality of artistic practice and the need to keep evolving.
Plateau includes a major new work, Big Wheel (at 40), made especially for this exhibition. Big Wheel is a long unrealised work that has been following Dawson for 10 years - never quite getting made. The sculpture consists of a large wooden wheel that rotates, causing a smaller used car tyre to continuously roll in search of its balance point. It moves with just enough momentum to keep from falling, endlessly rolling along trying to find its way.
Dawson approaches his studio space as a test laboratory. He often turns a gallery space into a hall of wonder populated with sculptural works that look like familiar utilitarian objects—such as furniture, motor vehicle parts, baseball bats, or miniature rockets — but are instead imaginary art constructs. Dawson uses unconventional engineering techniques to construct sculptures and installations that highlight the uncanny or surreal aspects of life and turn the mundane and dull into poetics and humor.