Punch the Clock brings together five Queensland artists in a provocative exhibition highlighting some gritty issues and a range of perspectives on communal histories including racial stereo-typing and social divisions at Fireworks Gallery from Friday 9 November to Saturday 22 December. Ultimately the exhibition advocates the contemporary artist as a frontier fighter in the world of popular culture and considers their artwork as a documented portal of resistance.

As one of the exhibiting artists, Pat Hoffie said “Some artists are among those who work outside the work-a-day-world of number crunching, post-analogue-clock awareness. They sift through the fields of the past stooped like post-apocalyptic gleaners, retrieving bits and pieces of this and that; shards of discarded memories; broken pieces of hope; tiny left-overs of dreams. They pick them up and assemble other kinds of time-pieces – images and words and hopes and dreams that connect the now to the past and future. They give us visual languages that allow us glimpses of new ways of responding to the constant ‘now-ness’ of the days we currently live in.”

Two artists hailing from Far North Queensland (FNQ), Paul Bong and Jennifer Herd have both used the metaphor of their respective traditional rainforest shields, depicted as both a defence weapon and an emotional shelter. Paul Bong’s epic work Memories of Oblivion: Blood Splatter is a gorgeously detailed print suite of five panels, visually arresting with unmistakeable elements of cultures colliding – the coloniser’s flag embedded within the deep indigenous core. Jennifer Herd in Irvine Creek Massacre has used fragments of her FNQ shield imagery, but by sewing threads and tiny buttons into the richly painted canvas panels, such ‘domestic work’ highlights a knitting together of hidden secrets and cultural threads.

Punch the Clock wraps up a momentous 2018 for FireWorks Gallery including its 25th anniversary year, a relocation, and a rekindling of its favourite exhibition formula – showcasing a culturally diverse mix of artists in a no nonsense fashion as direct action to inform and inspire their broad audience base. The exhibition will open on Saturday 10 November from 2pm to 4pm, with the public welcome to attend.

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