Beci Orpin and Carla McRae have collaborated on an exhibition at Boom Gallery that explores the notion of “play”. Play is an essential part of childhood — that “time spent without purpose in exploration, losing track of the hours”. However, as we get older expectation entails that we grow out of it. For their joint exhibition, Beci and Carla look to explore “the way that these spaces can be cultivated as adults and how we can tap back into those headspaces. Because they’re still there”, they tell It’s Nice That, “they’ve just shifted forms”.
As artists, Beci and Carla are lucky that they “still get to play every day as part of [their] work”. “Experimentation, discovery and exploration” are huge aspects of the creative process, they tell us. Their illustrations, with bold, bright colours and strong geometric shapes are exuberant and optimistic. “Both of our work is often seen as fun”, Beci explains, “this means it is not taken seriously”. However, this exhibition highlights that just because something is playful, it doesn’t mean it can’t be for an adult too. “For us, the work is about not losing the sense of joy and mental exploration which play gives you as a child”, the artists explain, “you can still enjoy doing it with your mind and, actually, that is really important”.
The exhibition showcases a variety of mediums; it explores both 2D and 3D forms of making: paintings, woodcuts and an installation. In the middle of the room is a structure resembling a kids playground. It uses bright and simple shapes in a way that is both harmonious and exciting, bringing an uplifting feeling to the room, a much-needed sense of happiness in a sometimes negative world. There is also a magnetic wall, where both children and adults can interact with the art, emphasising the desire to let loose and explore.
It was Boom Gallery’s idea that the two artists collaborated. “Our work had similar themes and colours in the past, so when it came to collaborating it was almost telepathic between us”, the artists comment. However, although their work is beautifully displayed in a cohesive whole; each individual’s voice remains. Both use a different colour palette and style, one focuses more on cut-out 3D shapes, the other on painting. Out of Bounds is on its final days at Melbourne’s Boom Gallery, finishing on 15 July, so make sure to catch it when you can.