Submitted Review

Adam Stone ‘Concrete Islands’

  • Coma Gallery • New South Wales

  • 24 April—21 May 2020

  • Eloise Hastings • Published 12 May 2020

If we were all to inhabit J.G. Ballard’s imaginary world, and nature was to freeze, just as our lives have for the past coronavirus afflicted weeks, it wouldn’t be so strange. Nor would a life laden with imposed quarantines, self-isolations, and riots breaking out among the bourgeoisie. So it’s without difficulty our present reality correlates to the influence of a Ballardian world. A science fiction existence that Adam Stone sensitively taps into for his current exhibition, Concrete Islands.

Five brutalist sculptures sparsely installed and demurely titled Tree and Flower. Minimal objects demonstrating structural honesty, through exposed concrete, snakily arranged steel chains and petals that offer a hint of the decorative. Although just briefly, as the flowers and leaves are by far dainty decoration, rather cast bronze from cardboard. The commonplace and versatile material we can all relate to, including Ballard who would have it discarded and distressed on the side of the road.

Perhaps the two works titled Tree 2 and Tree 3 are those that best connect to Ballard’s Concrete Island, through a life dominated by living on a median strip and man’s relationship to structures. Stone’s modern interpretation presents large autumnal structures reaching upward, one endowed with a draping spider web. The circular concrete bases trigger thoughts of urban life and one’s own internal intersection. These timely sculptures situated within exposed fluorescent lights, grey painted floors and icy white walls are leading directly into today’s baffling science fiction-esque world.

Are we simply exposed to the future?

Well, certainly Stone’s show draws thoughts to potentially a great new vision, but also the psychology of enclosed, brutal environments. The banal beauty of our urban jungle is laid bare in the nicest possible way, go visit, a show that is created to tantalise rather than terrorise.

Eloise Hastings

Eloise Hastings