Grove - exhibition review by Bridie Moran

Bridie Moran's review of Grove in the arts review section of

"... Although I wasn’t expecting to, as I wandered through a hanging forest of bamboo and branch, with trails of charcoals and feathers on the ground, I forgot about the coffee clanging and got wrapped up in the surreal landscape Fries has created in the gallery.

It is dark inside, with bamboo branches suspended in a forest from the roof, piles of feathers, and a video installation reflected on broken mirrors that lie on the ground. The feathers are a link back to one of Fries’ previous works, Proliferate, which saw a gigantic, interactive, pile of bird’s feathers placed in Gaffa Gallery, which, like Grove, had a strong sense of transience and fragility. Complete with whistling winds that move the Grove’s branches hanging from the ceiling, it feels as though an unearthly spirit has swept through, and what we see in the gallery are the remains of a destructive visit.

Shadows are thrown from the plants and video onto the floor, ceiling and roof of the gallery, resulting in a constant sense that there was something else in the room with me – but I just couldn’t see it… Delving into every corner of the two rooms, Grove drew me into an uneasy fairytale environment – it was bizarre to walk out of this shadow world into the fluorescence of Chifley Plaza.

Grove is the third exhibited finalist work in the Japan Foundation’s Factenate! program, which offers the winner an opportunity to take up a residency in Japan. Check out Grove and keep your eyes on the Japan Foundation website to see if Kath Fries wins the residency… Just watch out for the creatures in the shadows." (Bridie Moran)

You can read Bridie Moran's full review online at