David Noonan's current exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery features a series of eleven black & white and colour prints taken directly from his recent collages exhibited in his solo exhibition at Monash University Museum of Art earlier this year. In the collages, Noonan has manually cut and paste found images to create enigmatic scenes of time and place. They are suggestive of highly charged emotional fields and house a sense of mystery. Noonan’s extensive work with film is apparent in this series of prints which have a cinematic and narrative quality and display careful attention to light and composition. They represent the artist’s nostalgia for the culture and aesthetics of the 1970s, his childhood years, apparent from the subjects depicted: urban landscapes, interiors as well as details of fashion and décor.
Noonan uses the process of collage as a tool for image-making. It allows him to combine different elements from disparate found sources in a direct way that is very material/physical. Figures, objects, interiors etc are brought together into one image to create fictions which are spatially convincing, new narratives that are achievable only through the collage process. While some of the works have an almost documentary quality, others are more surreal, resembling somewhat irrational dream-like images. Whether exploring scenes from daily life or the unconscious, the choice of collage is significant for Noonan, as it helps to illustrate the concept of memory and its layering:
“Every image is a fragment. This is how we see things; how we remember what we don’t fully understand. Creation is always cumulative. Pictures and films develop in an intuitive way, often in response to something that has already been made.” (Jennifer Higgie, ‘David Noonan: Some Facts in No Particular Order’, David Noonan Films and Paintings 2001-2005, (2005) at p. 74)
Noonan works across many mediums, including film, painting, printing, photography and sculpture. In 2005, two new monographs on his work were published: Johanna Fahey, David Noonan – Before and Now, published by Craftsman House, and Jennifer Higgie, David Noonan – Films and Paintings 2001-2005, published by Monash University Museum of Art. Noonan was selected for the 2001 Istanbul Biennale. In 2001/2002, he spent twelve months in New York on a PS1 residency program. Since then, he has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows in New York, Chicago, London and many venues in . In 1999, he was selected for the Primavera exhibition of young art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. His work is held by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Victoria and Monash University Museum of Art as well as numerous private collections both in and overseas. Images will be Noonan's fourth solo exhibition with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.