Hugh Van Schaick + Rahill Jamalifard – China Heights – Free Gallery
China Heights Gallery
In conjunction with the inaugural ‘Surry Thrills’ community festival of 2022, China Heights gallery has scheduled two exciting new exhibitions, featuring the two artists Hugh Van Schaick (SYD) and Rahill Jamalifard (NYC). Both exhibitions will be open to the public for the duration of the festival, launching with the opening reception on the 16th September 6-8pm, featuring refreshments from Grifter brewery, OK Seltzer, and Lightning Mind non-alcoholic beer. The exhibitions will continue for the duration of the festival, being open 12-5pm Thur-Sun.
Established in 2004, China Heights gallery has built a long-standing working methodology, that benefits from a unique curatorial voice, one that engages a dynamic network of artists and applies an extensive range of practical expertise. Through numerous public projects, independent installations and commercial commissions the gallery has been instrumental within the contemporary Australian art landscape.
The basis of the curatorial program draws upon practitioners who successfully co-exist within the spheres of art and design and possess creative versatility in the application of their ideas and aesthetics. China Heights seeks to cultivate an environment of deep immersion using a non-linear narrative, where each artist generates and displays a vision of the whole.
Artist: Hugh Van Schaick
Exhibition title: ‘Bodies of us’
“This latest body of work represents a return to my love of drumming and dance. I have always been interested in the way simple rhythms and beats can make people move, feel and connect to one another. Drumming is a universal language that cultivates a space for commonality where music and dance can connect in times of separation and conflict.
In the past few years I had lost sight of these ideas, and was feeling disconnected from my body, to nature and my community. But recent experiences served as a powerful reminder, which led me to explore and learn more about these archetypal elements. For instance, how rhythm is built into us from birth, our heartbeats the original rhythm, enabling babies to dance before they can walk. How it is being used to heal both mind and body, and is a cornerstone of celebration and protest amongst worldwide communities throughout history.
I see a parallel between our bodies and the landscape, in particular coastal rock formations. Built up, condensed and worn down over time by the ocean with its unceasing rhythms, similarly our bodies, both internally and externally, accumulate and are shaped by our experiences. I wanted the forms to be somewhat ambiguous, somewhere between earth and flesh. Landforms have been drawn under each work as a base.”
Hugh Van Schaick is an artist living and working on Gadigal and Wangal Lands. This is Van Schaick’s first solo exhibition at China Heights gallery.
Artist: Rahill Jamalifard (USA)
Exhibition title: ‘I Walk In Your Memory’
Rahill Jamalifard is an Iranian-American singer, songwriter, visual artist and D.J. from Lansing, Michigan. Since emerging from New York’s downtown scene in 2009, she has been a part of countless projects spanning music, art, and film, most notably as the frontwoman of the cult surf-punk outfit Habibi, known for its infectious hooks and four-part harmonies. Since 2020 she has been the host of a monthly radio show on NTS with music rooted in jazz and international genres. Working at record shops during the day and playing out psych-disco twelve-inches by night, Rahill began developing patchwork song ideas and poetry into her first solo material, a blend of classic pop and trip-hop about family, friendship, and dancefloors.
“In my work, I seek to thread together the memories of people who have had a great influence on my life. Through this practice I explore the theme of being moved by others, mapping each iteration and finding both the commonalities and the differences. I constantly return to memories of loved ones, of celebrated ones, I return to songs, I return to victories on the field and on the court, these memories serve as living testimonies that move me and inform my art. True connections drive us closer to ourselves, I am interested in reaching that solemn place, where like stars on a map every memory connects to one great spiritual constellation.