Fur: Gerwyn Davies

Fur: Gerwyn Davies

Enveloped in feathers, fabric and fur, Gerwyn Davies playfully elevates the everyday to the higher frequency of the hyper real. Anonymously inhabiting snapshot narratives, Davies is inspired by primary-coloured plastics from Dollar stores, American gothic fiction and AFL. 

Combining photographic self-portraiture and costume making, 
my work is an ongoing inventory of selves that are assembled, 
worn and performed for the camera.

Fur is sensory, it elicits the sleek coat and warmth of a ‘furbaby’ nestled in your lap. Or, putting aside the unnecessary slaughter of a game animal, it suggests the sensation of the luxurious trim on a winter garment. Fur is also synonymous with scale – the calcified, hard water crust that builds up on an object. The costumes Gerwyn Davies creates are both fur and scale, simultaneously enchanting shields and protective camouflage.

A three-dimensional photographer, the costumes and performances at the core of Davies’ creativity are inspired by the materiality of play. Giving unusual purpose to readymades – inflatables, tinsel, and coloured paper – he creates extraordinary new skins. These furs do not cling, they are whimsical, crushable and occasionally scratchy. They embody resourcefulness and are the offspring of the $17 thong dress from Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

They are skins of transformation and demonstrative of his inner beasts. Yet aside from a glimpse of a bare hand or tattooed leg, the artist retains his anonymity. Innately comedic, Davies’ beasts inhabit the nostalgic terrain of suburban Australiana. They travel along highways dotted with ‘Big things’ and arrive at destinations of national iconic status. Youthful and idealistic, they are ‘fursonas’ standing alone in the hyper real dreamscapes of our childhood.

Fur coincides with the program of celebrations for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras: Forty Years of Evolution, 2018. 

Allison Holland      

Exhibition Details
ACP Project Space Gallery, 15 February ­– 24 March 2018

About the Artist

Gerwyn Davies was born in Ipswich, Queensland in 1985.

He grew up influenced by the tropics of Darwin, Northern Territory and subsequently has lived in Brisbane, London and Berlin. He was awarded Honours in Photography at the Queensland College of Art in 2012. He is a lecturer at University of New South Wales and currently completing a doctorate. In 2018, Davies will undertake an exchange at the Kyoto Arts Centre in Japan, supported by an Australia Council Residency Grant.

Inspirational favourites for Davies are: the music of Ssion and Björk; the designers Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf and Rei Kawakubo; and the artists Kimiko Yoshida and Mike Kelley.

Davies is represented by Jan Murphy Gallery.