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02 Mar 2011

Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy, 'Drunken Clarity' at Gallery Barry Keldoulis

Sean Cordeiro and Claire Healey. 'Drunken Clarity', 2011. Courtesy of the artists and Gallery Barry Keldoulis

Drunken Clarity
Gallery Barry Keldoulis


3 March 2011 to 2 April 2011 Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 6pm. Closed public holidays

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285 Young Street
Waterloo, Sydney 2017

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Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro began collaborating on works in 2001. Bringing together ideas of home, permanency and collection, Healy and Cordeiro create sculpture and installation works that reuse, reform and contain the everyday consumables and detritus of modern life. Their work has been exhibited in venues such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, La BF15, Lyon and the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin. Most recently they co-represented Australia for the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Have we missed the opening, was it last night? Or was there a rave party here?

Piles of empty alcohol bottles litter the floor and trestle tables of a gallery seemingly empty of art.

But on closer inspection the detritus of a big night had been transformed into something beautiful.

Artists Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy have once again taken the destruction of a utilitarian object and made it art, indeed aesthetically extraordinary.

It is said that the origins of Kintsugi lie in the dissatisfaction of a 15th century shogun when a important piece of his porcelain returned from repair in China held together by ugly staples. Local craftsmen then repaired the tea bowl a second time, using lacquer and powered gold, returning it to functionality and adding aesthetic value to the object.

Purposely smashing something in the hope of discovering something new and beautiful is also an act endlessly carried out in countless parties across the world. In English, the terms like wasted, smashed, wrecked, shattered, obliterated and trashed are often used to describe altered states of consciousness brought on by the imbibing of alcoholic beverages. The temporary destruction of the self is carried out in the hope that fun or adventures may be had that would not be possible sober.

The hangover after the consumption of large quantities of alcohol can sometimes result in moments of clarity, even inspiration. The ebbing of serotonin in the body's system and general physical lethargy can create a state of reverie that brings forth thoughts and ideas that may not otherwise come to mind.

Drunken Clarity is a celebration and commemoration of the by-products of the shattering of our ordered, constrained minds.