Cover image of the review
Installation view of Benita Laylim and Viola Nazario’s, Secret Cherry, 2024, Tiles Lewisham, Sydney. Photo courtesy of the gallery.

Secret Cherry

13 Apr 2024
Tiles Lewisham 4 Apr - 21 Apr 2024

Between the harvest months of December and January, Benita Laylim and Viola Nazario go cherry picking. Their exhibition at Tiles Lewisham, Secret Cherry, appears to be a visual catalogue of these summers. Upon entering the space, the viewer encounters a cherry-picking harness hanging from the ceiling, a pair of pants floating in the window—the knees patched up and sown—and a shirt with a dirt-covered collar. Tally cards from past seasons are pressed into a grid on the wall, scribbled with the day’s equations and earnings. In a collaborative video work, Tarryn Waugh narrates the business of cherry picking. We’re unsure who he is in the context of the orchard, but he quickly earns our trust as he divulges a seasoned picker’s knowledge. At the centre of all this are Laylim’s clay paintings and Nazario’s works on copper, hung side by side on the walls, or leaning on purpose-made shelves. These works create a centripetal force with the aforementioned ephemera in the room, and yet they sit apart from the visual catalogue of cherry picking. I ask myself, “what are these works doing?”

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