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Artists reflect on the often harsh nature of work

Three artists from Australia, China and the Philippines reflect on an ecology that involves human labour, natural force and historical memory for “Nature Of Work”, which is running at Warin Lab Contemporary until Oct 29.

The exhibition traces the situations, both harsh and delicate, under which work happens. Viewers will be taken to explore the artistic projects that evoke the nature that underlines the works.

Nana Buxani is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and painter from Mindanao who explores the lives of workers in a quarry in the Philippines province of Romblon, known for its production of the formidable substance of marble. The extraction, grinding and refining of attractive matter speak to the energies of making and the difficult beauty of craft and art.

Sydney-born artist Gabriella Hirst revisits the site where the Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich paints storms. She waits for a storm to come, whereupon she renders the landscape almost in vain as she struggles with the blustery, almost impossible weather and the almost impossible effort.

In another work, she returns to the French city of Verdun, particularly the battlefields of World War I, now overrun by a forest which in turn would be diminished by a fiery storm and thus inevitably lay bare the layers of violence inflicted on the land.

Meanwhile, Hu Yun from Shanghai, who often revisits historical moments in order to provide alternative readings, investigates the archives of migrant mining, shedding light on the names of the Chinese workers in Australia in the 19th century who dug gold in the mines.

The gallery is located at O.P. Garden, Charoen Krung 36, and opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am to 7.30pm.