Cover image of the review

Divided Subject

3 Jul 2021
27 May - 27 Jun 2021

Sophia Whitney Hewson’s sculptures stood alone behind MARS Gallery’s colossal glass windows as our collective attention was drawn to yet another lockdown. The pandemic has posed many challenges to our engagement with art. Solutions rapidly emerged, largely online. Albeit welcome, this liberalisation left an emptiness that the physical act of going to a gallery once filled. There has been a nostalgia for the tactile, an association now lost. At the earliest opportunity, I rushed to MARS eager for a cultural experience further than five kilometres from home.

Sophia Whitney Hewson, 2020-2021, 2021, aluminium chemical rendered finish, 260 x 62 x 62 cm, MARS Gallery, Melbourne. Photo: Fiona Hamilton

It is both ironic and unfortunate that Hewson’s exhibition, Divided Subject, which explores last year’s lockdowns and outbreaks, was itself interrupted by a state-wide quarantine in June. From the outside, it is hard to judge how light-soaked the main gallery is; its pristine white walls radiate the beaming light of the street. For a couple of weeks, Hewson’s bronze sculptures sat there in stark contrast to this backdrop, seen only by peering passers-by.

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