Jordan Gogos’s Un/constrained forms and fluidity ornament Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert

StirPad, August 9, 2022


The Sydney-based artist and designer turns the exhibition space into an abode for the opposing trajectories of his textile and functional art, relinquishing rigidity and outdated binaries.

Sustainable design in contemporary times calls for material innovation not just in terms of what is new but also how the old and discarded is revived. When adopting repurposed and recycled products, the design process is introduced to new constraints in terms of a raw material that is finite sans the opportunity of acquiring more of the same. Jordan Gogos, a multidisciplinary artist and designer based in Sydney on Gadigal land, broaches fluidity and freedom in this dynamic through his works evolved purely through chance and intuition, breaking the shackles of the representational constraint. In his first solo exhibition dubbed Un/constrained at the Australia based Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Gogos exhibits, for the first time, his oeuvre of elaborate, handmade, embroidered, flat wall art created in his studio at the Powerhouse Museum. With his functional art pieces ensconced alongside the same, the exhibition space morphs into a habitat for two harmoniously conflicting languages. These new works, on display from 29 July to 28 August, 2022, extend the methodology of experimentation to include other materials in what Gogos describes as a creative process of chance which ‘is both meditative and intuitive’. “My functional art is about more than aesthetics,” says Jordan Gogos. “They might add gravitas to a space, but their real value is in how they make you think,” he adds.


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert

Gogos’s practice is an aggregate of furniture designindustrial design and compression wall textiles, as well as his eponymous fashion label, Iordanes Spyridon Gogos. His creations traverse materials, shape and form, epitomising his cross-disciplinary interest in the arts that fuses seemingly divergent ideas. Upon completing his studies in design at the University of New South Wales in 2019, Gogos was granted a scholarship to the world-renowned Parsons School of Design, New York, where he specialised in industrial design. It was during this time that Gogos realised his propensity towards textiles, in particular denim, a medium that in his eyes, inadvertently gains meaning, when aged and deconstructed.


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert

The body of work showcases a process where materiality dictates form. The method, spontaneous and chance, the outcome. Gogos predominantly puts to use repurposed, recycled and dead stock materials, given to him by friends and colleagues. Taking advantage of skills honed as a couturier, the repurposed material is layered, compressed, felted and embroidered together, materialising textiles that mirror 'stain' and 'drip' paintings. The spotlight remains on how the materials converse with each other and the riots of colour that erupt when the fabrics collide under his hand. The textiles are intricately crafted from above with metres of thread creating torrents of colour, evocative of the unpredictability found in drip painting. Each textile is treated as a new encounter, serendipity that is never repeatable.


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert

Complementing the intuitive textiles are the thoughtfully considered geometric, sculptural, functional art pieces by Gogos. These objects are made from sheets of aluminium, folded and welded into shape specifically and without the need for hardware. The work, with its distinctive cut-outs to allow the flow of light and air, is evolved to resist identification by artificial intelligence and the outdated binaries of gendered design. These modular works that are objects-as-furniture in the purest sense bear resemblance to totems or tumbling blocks. Placed alone and horizontally they assume the form of benches, chairs and tables.


Un/constrained is the first solo exhibition by Jordan GogosImage: Courtesy of Simon Hewson and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert

Gogos’s textiles and objects that seem to be artistic adversaries, find a common thread in the designer’s question: ‘When does a bench become a sculpture and a textile a painting?' Fluidity is injected in the form through knotting, stitching and quilting resulting in unconstrained shapes that contradict the precise design approach required for the functional art. Negative spaces are deliberately placed within the work to create unconstrained shapes while single sheets simply folded into shape discard rigidity. This art is non-binary and free from being prescriptive, upturned and interacted with freely. In his rebellious inquisition of technique and medium, art, design, and materials interact in new dimensions. Gogos’s Un/constrained is a manifesto for those who dare to imagine and to imbibe the work, work that sticks around in one’s mind.

‘Un-constrained’ will remain on display from 29 July 2022 to 28 August 2022 at Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, New South Wales, Australia.
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