18 May – 17 June 2017

‘Everything moves on shifting levels – our thoughts, our dreams, our actions, our whole life…All things, as we walk, split with us into a myriad iridescent fragments.’
Henry Miller, Black Spring (1936)

I was born under a full moon into the daughter universe: a double, a twin, a Gemini.
I rove across multiple realities; I follow their trajectories as they spiral outwards, each birthing the next.
I am drawn towards edges, the crystal lattice that forms at the end of a comet’s tail.
I am the roughness of clay and shale when you drag your finger along a row of bricks.  
I am the syrup and the asphalt of Gold Dust Woman, the half-tease in the bend of a guitar string.  
I slip through gaps: I fall through portals: I soar, I slide, I spill.

I like the underside of things.    
I am the circle of blonde satiny hair at the base of Kim Novak’s tightly bound chignon in Vertigo; the opening that becomes a peephole in Blue Velvet; the glistening sheen of pulled sugar before it is molded into taffy.
I am the hole in a door that you can stick your fingers through when a lock has been removed; the white gloves that draw your eye, concealing a sleight of hand; the curl at the end of a laugh.
Often I will seduce you with softness.
Sometimes I glare like a neon trap.  
I know the feel of steel when it is no longer rigid but flimsy. I know how quickly a drop of glue can dry, fixing it in place.
I am unmoored, a leaky porous thing.  

I am the opposite of a knot.
I am always becoming lighter.

Naomi Riddle

Sarah Contos’ practice forms an intimate meditation on identity and self, offering unrestrained, personal and emotional dialogue. Theatrical narrative and drama define her assemblages. Contos is fascinated by the relationships between objects and one’s autonomous associations with them. Exploring the dual nature of “things”, her tantalising sculptural installations play on the friction that exists between seduction and repulsion.

Sarah Contos was recently selected as a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize 2017 for her work ‘The Long Kiss Goodbye’, 2017. Earlier this year, Contos was included in ‘THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG’ at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. Contos has also been commisioned by ‘The Preatures’ to produce the artwork for their new album, due for release in 2017. In 2016, Contos presented a major solo exhibition ‘The Revenge of Alexis Colby’ at the Australian Experimental Arts Foundation, Adelaide (2016). Contos produced a significant collaboration with contemporary Australian fashion house ‘Romance Was Born’ this same year.

Sarah Contos has held solo exhibitions in Sydney at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Gallery 9, Firstdraft and Mop Projects. She has been included in Sydney Contemporary (2013) and Spring 1883 (2014). Group exhibitions include ‘Streetwise: Contemporary Print Culture’, NGA Contemporary, Canberra (2015), ‘21st Century Heide The Collection Since 2000’, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria (2015) ‘Express Yourself: Romance was Born for Kids’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014), ‘Future Primitive’, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria (2013). Contos was awarded the Artspace Studio Residency from 2012-13, and the 4A Beijing Residency in 2013.

In 2018, Sarah Contos will present a major commission at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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