Joshua Burrowes | The Myth of Sisyphus
Address: 7 James Street
Date: 12 October 2019
Time: 5 - 7 pm
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Joshua Burrowes work explores concepts of ambiguous realities and mythological narratives. Through painting, Burrowes investigates the relationship with everyday objects and the mundane misconceptions that they signify.
The title refers directly to Sisyphus, the king of Ephyra who was punished for his deceitfulness and forced to roll a colossal boulder up a hill for all eternity. Burrowes delves beyond these notions of morality and the absurdity of repeating a futile task and reframes the objects to cast them into a different and dramatic light.
Burrowes manipulates his found objects through staging and lighting and employs photography for dramatic effect.
“I’m drawn to the melodrama of monochrome. I like that it can make a showercap appear serious and austere, or imbue a pair of rubber gloves with pathos and piety. Monochrome creates a different dialogue of the ordinary.”
This heightened dramatisation prompts viewers to look beyond the objects’ monotonous functions. Without attributing any meaning to domestic objects, Burrowes instead challenges viewers to observe these seemingly banal objects and create meaning from the everyday.
“Allow me to cast light upon a series of mundane objects - objects often overlooked and under-seen. Here are trivial artefacts that guide the everyday, Sisyphean tasks of our existence - the seemingly pointless and repetitive rituals that weave the fabric of our lives.”
These familiar objects that signify daily rituals allude to Burrowes’ recognition in the absurd and the ambiguity of existence.
“This body of work reflects my relationship with the absurdity found in the everyday. Because life is made up of Monday mornings, milk and muesli. Amongst the monotony, you can either laugh or cry; Absurdism is choosing to laugh, and to accept that none of this has any intrinsic meaning. Here are icons of the ordinary, inviting you to embellish them with meaning.”
With heightened realism, Burrowes juxtaposes mundane objects in a dramatic light in order to invite viewers to look at life differently and reflect upon their own pursuit of meaning.