Bringing the distance near 

Izabela Pluta

Presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Wollongong

TAEM Gallery, Building 25
Opening: Friday 1 September, 12.30pm
Exhibition runs: 9am - 5pm, Monday – Friday

1–20 September 2017

In 'Bringing the distance near', Izabela Pluta explores the misalignment between spatial and temporal experiences and states of displacement, and how this manifests in, and resonates through, themes of the ruin and concepts of place. The components of this exhibition were developed during her doctoral research and investigate methods that engage in new possibilities for considering the photograph as the form of an idea via an expanded photographic materiality.

Pluta’s photographic vocabulary operates across various material forms and images: realist photomurals, re-photographed photographs, photo-collages, artist’s books, found paraphernalia and discarded things from the natural world. Her work aims to distill and interrogate the way that her ideas and images have become separated from their original context, as well as the process by which they are re-assembled.

She uses the term ‘gleaning’ to describe her methodology as a kind of ‘poetic scavenging’ that resonates with the philosophical terrain of place, nostalgia and diaspora. Her works provide insight and draw on a range of pictorial, aesthetic, material and communicative devices out of broader fields of photography, the archive and practices of archaeology.

Pluta’s exhibition 'Blue Distance' (2014) included photomural images and collages described by art critic and Andrew Frost as putting the viewer:

Both within the image and outside it. The familiarity of these scenes and experiences seem poignantly recognisable – we could easily walk around these places and see these things. But it is because of that documentary aesthetic that we also feel so estranged from these moments…The artist’s suite of collages and prints make this process even plainer – we overlay geometry, history and art on to the world to make sense of our place within it, yet when we see that process reflected back at us it seems incredibly strange. (in Space Opera (UTS eds) 2014).

Pluta’s research explores how a work of art might adopt a certain range of artistic photographic strategies that describe and manifest what - in the present contemporary moment - it might mean to be from another place.

Brief biography:
Izabela Pluta was born in Warsaw, Poland, and migrated to Australia in 1987. She currently lives and works in Sydney. She completed her undergraduate studies in Fine Art at The University of Newcastle (2002) and has an MFA from UNSW Art & Design (2009). Pluta has over a 15-year history of working with photography and installation. Recent exhibitions include Paper, stone and permutations, Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne (2017); Blue Distance, University of Technology Gallery, Sydney (2014); Displaced images of distant objects, Monash Gallery of Art (2011); Gestures of the Landscape, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2009); and Making Mirrors, Artspace, Sydney (2006). She is represented by This is no fantasy + Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne.

'Bringing the distance near' is presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Wollongong. This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training (RTP) scholarship and the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.

Bringing the distance near Izabela Pluta
Image: Izabela Pluta, Collection 2014, pigment print on photo rag, 110 x 150cm
Courtesy the artist and This is no fantasy + Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Melbourne.



Last reviewed: 4 September, 2017