17 June — 4 July

Retracings began with repeat visits to the physical archive held at RM Gallery and Project Space before morphing with the pandemic into a painterly response to the archive from afar. Utilizing drawings, ideas and materials gathered prior to lockdown, time slowed, and an extended experiment in painting on silk ensued. As such, Retracings negotiates the territory between moments drawn from the RM Archive and the subjective feeling of painting, permeated by a surreal episode in global affairs.

The RM Archive was established in 2009 as an accessible archive of exhibition invites, publications and artists ephemera with an aim for it to be experimental, flexible and evolving. It is an archive started and run by artists for the wider community it serves. Formed and collected by multiple authors over time, the first thing noted is a sense of overwhelming labour within the room. Aware of how much energy is required to stage a single project, this room overflows with the trace of people and communities working. Assuming much of the work has been unpaid, the Archive could be said to represent an ongoing record of creative dreams, persistence and hope. Publications held offer a distinct international flavour as RM places itself within a global art scene of artist run initiatives, with local archive boxes sharing shelf space with texts and images from Berlin, Korea, Melbourne and the US. Painting in response, moments discovered in the archive and publications have been mixed and repeatedly re-drawn, then through light washes on silk, floated together. In this way the project aims to think through painting alongside a physical archive, while also reflecting on local to international aspirations.