From Material to Product: Sydney’s mercantile past

Tuesday 18 July 2017

An exhibition that explores Sydney’s retail and manufacturing history, memory and place is the next to feature at Inner West Council’s Chrissie Cotter Gallery.

Chris Bonnily’s From Material to Product: Sydney’s mercantile past uses photography, sculpture and screen printing to illustrate the connections between raw materials, finished products and the selling of them in Sydney’s historic department stores.

“The exhibition begins with the raw materials, specifically wool, and Walsh Bay Wharves where it was exported from Sydney,” he says.

“The exported wool was turned into products, often fabric, and returned in the products that Sydney’s department stores sold.

“The stores were also integral to Sydney’s prosperity, and built to a scale to rival their overseas counterparts.

“They were grand and ornate and very inviting.

“Anthony Hordern & Sons, Marcus Clark & Co, Grace Brothers Broadway, Mark Foy’s, Walton’s and Gowings all had an impact on the city.

“They were places where social history and personal narrative were played out. By looking at the physical characteristics and memories that these buildings contained and inspired in people, the ghosts and unspoken energies will transform into artworks that resonate with meaning.

“These stores have now closed because of changed economic structures, the growth of international manufacturing, trade and brands, and the growth of internet shopping amongst other causes,” Mr Bonnily said.

From Material to Product: Sydney’s mercantile past is at Chrissie Cotter Gallery from Thursday 27 July – Sunday 6 August.

Drinks and artist’s talk: Saturday 29 July, 2pm
Instagram account: @chrisbonnily

Details of image: Mark Foy’s – Gone, 2016, 2 colour Screen print

For a print quality image, contact the Communication team. For an interview with the artist, call Chris Bonnily on 0410 410 752.

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