Linden New Art is proud to present Kingdom of Pleasure, an exhibition by local artist Jane Burton. In Kingdom of Pleasure, Burton expands upon her ongoing exploration of memory, desire and mortality with a new suite of dream-like photographs offering a darkly ambiguous, enigmatic, and provocative take on Luna Park.
Please note > we apologise for any inconvenience, the Linden Projects Space is not wheelchair accessible.
IMAGE > [Top] Jane Burton, Kingdom of Pleasure (#1) [detail], 2022, Ambrotype – wet plate collodion on black glass, 25.5 cm x 25.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
IMAGE > Jane Burton, Kingdom of Pleasure (#3), 2022, Ambrotype – wet plate collodion on black glass, 25.5 cm x 25.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
IMAGE > Jane Burton, Kingdom of Pleasure (#7), 2022, Ambrotype – wet plate collodion on black glass, 25.5 cm x 25.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
Luna Park has long been an icon of St Kilda, soon to be celebrating its 110th birthday. In 1912 when it the theme park first opened, St Kilda was considered the capital of Victorian pleasure, with Luna Park serving as just one of the many amusement ventures occupying the former swamplands of the bay.
Inspired by young memories of being thrilled by Luna Park’s curious architecture and otherworldly aura, at once enchanting and haunting, Kingdom of Pleasure sees Burton revisit the site of her childhood imagination through a series of ‘night-dreams’ that capture Burton’s early impressions of Luna Park’s foreboding magic, meanwhile channelling the more sinister connotations as seen through the eyes of artists who have come before – Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, Clarice Beckett and others.
Nolan and Tucker, during the decades of the 1930s and 1940s experienced the legacy of the Great Depression and the trauma of war,
heightening their awareness of the co-existence of good and evil, creation and destruction, life and death. So too did their paintings of
Luna Park express this binary, on the one hand depicting the park as a site of fun and amusement, and on the other, a repository of darker
emotions in a surreal atmosphere of hedonism, carnal sexuality and moral decay.
Recently I moved into the St Kilda area and found myself drawn to the strangeness of the site, and drawn back into childhood memories, consciously viewing Luna Park through a lens of the past, recalling fanciful associations and emotive sensations.
As a child from the country, I encountered it as a phantasmagorical realm rising through briny sea fog,
fringed by exotic palm trees. Upon entering through the great, devouring mouth, as if into an Underworld; shrieks and clatter emanating
from the Scenic Railway drifted on the salty night air.
Jane Burton, 2022
IMAGE> Jane Burton, Kingdom of Pleasure (#5) [detail], 2022, Ambrotype – wet plate collodion on black glass, 25.5 cm x 25.5 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
With a career spanning more than 20 years, JANE BURTON has been the recipient of artist residencies in Paris, London and Beijing. Burton’s photographs are held in the collections of prominent state and publicly funded galleries, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, Monash Gallery of Art, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; as well as private collections in Australia and abroad. Two monographs of her photographs have been published by M.33, Melbourne: ‘It is Midnight, Dr. _ _’, in 2017, and ‘Other Stories’, in 2011.
IMAGE > Jane Burton at The Art Gallery of Ballarat, 2019. Photograph: Adam Trafford.
This project has been supported by the City of Port Phillip through the Cultural Development Fund and the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria. The artist gives thanks to Luna Park, St Kilda, and Gold Street Studios, Trentham, Victoria.