22 October 2015, 6-8pm
October 22 – November 8

Kick Gallery
4 Peel Street,

Introduction -
Mike Portley - Disconnect

22 October 2015, 6-8pm (October 22 – November 8)
Kick Gallery 4 Peel Street Collingwood

In Disconnect, Mike Portley has created a series of paintings and artworks that reflect and muse on a shift in human relationships with the environment, technology, each other and history itself. Portley’s own fascination with the changes in contemporary perceptions of the outside world are centred on the media and how personalised stories are manifested through a transformed media machine. It’s the disconnect between this personalised downloaded reality, the analogue world and society’s trajectory that Portley contemplates with both whimsy and alarm.

In Disconnect, Portley has adopted a more figurative approach in addressing the themes in the works. There are a selection of subjects that have been appropriated and reconfigured from social media, video games, art, tourism and advertising. These citations are used to underscore how our lives have been decorated with media manifestations and that much of our social awareness is funnelled in a conglomerated yet distant manner. This idea of conglomeration is referred to in the metaphorical depiction of mindsets relating to the dynamic between the environment and economies. The depleting environment is the elephant in the room offset against associated economic influences and emerging technologies that both threaten and enhance traditional roles in society. Portley questions whether the more we connect digitally, the more we actually disengage from real communication with people and our synchronicity with Earth; or perhaps these symptoms are the growing pains of a new and exciting evolution of human triumph and super connectivity?

Portley’s approach combines lyrical starting points with interpretive expression that is overlaid with detailed subjects connected to each proposition. Portley has always had a propensity for quickly boiling down complex concepts into metaphorical prose and visual tableaux. Disconnect is therefore both an autobiographical comment on transition and a social comment on change and revolution.