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21 May, 2019 - 1 June, 2019

21 May – 1 June 2019

Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 11am to 3pm
admission: Free

…a declamatory visual recitation of social archaeology.

After the success of his Bone Idol exhibition on the walls of fortyfivedownstairs in 2015, Chris Orr returns with a new show. Conventicle is an unorthodox assemblage of everyday detritus, ephemera and artist photography blanketed in classical engravings and stencils. Old coke cans, disregarded motherboards and more are assembled in a declamatory visual recitation of social archaeology.

Chris Orr studied art and design at Prahran Institute and graphic design at Swinburne in the 1980s. In the 1990s, after rocking around in nightclubs, he started a graphic design practice, Beige, strongly anchored in street art.

Chris believes art can be created form the most mundane of objects – in part derived from working in graphic design, where you are often called upon to polish a turd. Given a subject, Chris storyboards it into the third dimension.

Chris’s first venture into the art world came about when a friend gave him a plastic doll’s head and challenged him to ‘make art out of it’. The result was a series of oversize digital manipulations baked on canvas and paper. Melancholy and mesmerising, they contained a dark beauty. Displayed only in the foyer of an architect’s firm in Sydney in 2001, the series was created and sold to collectors in Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin and Osaka.

Years on, colleagues and friends prodded Chris to produce a new series. In 2014, with the purchase of a skull from a medical supplies store, Chris’ first exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs, Bone Idol, began to develop.

Bestowing life on inanimate objects has become a theme. To become fixated on the one object; to extract as much out of it by the use of light and colour and by trawling and navigating it close up; reinterpreting it in a myriad of ways.


21 May, 2019
1 June, 2019
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fortyfivedownstairs gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9662 9966
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03 9662 9966


Chris Orr
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