The Problem with Stability

Pat Foster and Jen Berean

Melbourne-based artists Pat Foster and Jen Berean have been working collaboratively since 2001, developing their projects and interventions within numerous gallery and museum spaces in Australia and New Zealand. Their work, incorporating site-specific installations, photography and sculpture, often uses the language of architecture, social infrastructure and design – things that typically require collaboration in order to have a successful outcome.

The precision and clean lines inherent in the grammar of their work often refers back to public spaces and, how the physicality of these spaces is predicated upon both wanted and unwanted functionality – the bumps for example, introduced at pedestrian crossings to alert blind and partially-sighted people of their location or inversely, the bolts introduced to ledges to discourage skateboarding. Indeed some works take the notion further, to the space in the aftermath of design, relinquished to the public.

In working between Fire Station Artists’ Studios (which borders the IFSC/Docklands and the inner city) and Pallas Contemporary Projects (which lies between Smithfield and Stoneybatter) the artists and their practice are ideally situated to reflect the ways in which the boom times and economic downturns have shaped the physicality of the inner-city. The exhibition, produced during the artists’ Dublin residency, incorporates both local histories and universal urban forms. Combining sculpture and wall based elements, the body of work continues the artists’ focus on an inherent anxiety embedded in the built environment.

Pat Foster received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drawing) in 2004 and his Honours in 2005, from the VCA. Jen Berean received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001, and a Bachelor of Architecture in 2006, both from RMIT. Recent exhibitions by Pat Foster and Jen Berean include “NEW09″ at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, “The Group Group Show” at Margaret Lawrence Gallery, VCA, 2008; “Preview ‘08″ at Murray White Room, Melbourne, 2008; “Revolving Doors” Uplands Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; “One Thing After Another” at First Draft, 2007; “Incident in the Museum” Monash University Museum of Art, 2006. Their work has been featured in various publications, including Frieze, Art World and Art & Australia.

This exhibition coincides with the artists’ international studio residency award, presented as part of an ongoing exchange between Fire Station Artists’ Studios and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in collaboration with Pallas Contemporary Projects.


Pat Foster and Jen Berean interview in totally Dublin

Pat Foster and Jen Berean – Mousse Magazine, Italy