Linden New Art is proud to present KINGDOM OF PLEASURE, an exhibition by local artist Jane Burton. In KINGDOM OF PLEASURE, Burton expands upon her ongoing exploration of memory, desire and mortality with a new suite of dream-like photographs offering a darkly ambiguous, enigmatic, and provocative take on Luna Park.
Luna Park has long been an icon of St Kilda, soon to be celebrating its 110th birthday. In 1912 when it the theme park first opened, St Kilda was considered the capital of Victorian pleasure, with Luna Park serving as just one of the many amusement ventures occupying the former swamplands of the bay.
Inspired by young memories of being thrilled by Luna Park’s curious architecture and otherworldly aura, at once enchanting and haunting, KINGDOM OF PLEASURE sees Burton revisit the site of her childhood imagination through a series of ‘night-dreams’ that capture Burton’s early impressions of Luna Park’s foreboding magic, meanwhile channelling the more sinister connotations as seen through the eyes of artists who have come before – Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, Clarice Beckett and others.
The artist writes ; “Recently I moved into the St Kilda area and found myself drawn to the strangeness of the site, and drawn back into childhood memories, consciously viewing Luna Park through a lens of the past, recalling fanciful associations and emotive sensations.
As a child from the country, I encountered it as a phantasmagorical realm rising through briny sea fog, fringed by exotic palm trees. Upon entering through the great, devouring mouth, as if into an Underworld; shrieks and clatter emanating from the Scenic Railway drifted on the salty night air.”
The work Burton is exhibiting at Linden New Art is a suite of ambrotype photographs on black glass, a wet plate process where a glass plate is coated with collodion emulsion, exposed and processed in the darkroom before the emulsion dries.
“Ambrotypes have a unique luminosity which suits my intention of capturing a ghostly aura of the subject: Luna Park,” says Burton.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, Jane Burton has been the recipient of artist residencies in Paris, London and Beijing. Burton’s photographs are held in the collections of prominent state and publicly funded galleries, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, Monash Gallery of Art, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; as well as private collections in Australia and abroad. Two monographs of her photographs have been published by M.33, Melbourne: ‘It is Midnight, Dr. _ _’, in 2017, and ‘Other Stories’, in 2011.
KINGDOM OF PLEASURE: Thursday 4 August – Sunday 4 September, Linden Projects Space
Linden New Art
Bunurong, Boon Wurrung Country
26 Acland Street, St Kilda
Exhibition dates: 4 August – 4 September 2022
Opening reception: 4 August 6-8pm
Jane Burton, Kingdom of Pleasure (#5), 2022
Ambrotype – wet plate collodion on black glass, 25.5 x 25.5cm.
Image courtesy of the artist