Thoughtful Cognition

Alexander Tandy and Emma Horvát

Absorbed in or involving thought / The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

‘Plein air poetry’ is how Tandy best describes his introspective ‘fly-on-the-wall’ approach to this text-based work. Tandy, whose studio has a curtain-less window overlooking a busy Fremantle street, draws upon the notion of plein air-painting ‘out-of-doors’. Seeking to convey an accurate portrayal of the world and his place in it, Tandy approaches documentation with a sureness, allowing the outdoors to seep through at strange intervals whilst he worked ‘out-of-doors’ and sometimes, in them.

In this early body of work, Horvát takes a filmic approach to experimental analogue processes. In the darkroom, they print one photograph after another without technical guidance. Within this process, the artist relies upon intuition and chance to find a balance between light and time. By accentuating illusive qualities, Horvát divides the image from that which it represents. Hidden within a mirage of truth is an images’ technical poetics; pieces of visual language born on the level of sprouting silver grains. What these photographs speak of rests on the ambiguity in play and the viewer’s perspective.

Working visually with memoir in photography, Emma Horvát makes images with traditional means while also making images in space through sculpture. Using objects, their associations and ambiguity created through process and abstraction, Horvát seeks to push the boundaries of practice within contemporary photography. Horvát completed an Associate Degree at North Metropolitan TAFE in 2017 and attained their Batchelor of Contemporary Arts in visual art at Edith Cowan University in 2018. In 2019 Horvát was featured alongside visual artist Ómra Caoimhe with collaborative work ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ in WOMXN, an exhibition at Spectrum Project Space (WA) curated by Olivia Colja. They have also exhibited in other spaces such as Paper Mountain (WA), and Brunswick Street Gallery (VIC).

Alexander Tandy, born in sunny Mandurah in 1996, graduated from North Metropolitan TAFE in 2016 having attained an Advanced Diploma of Visual Art. Tandy does not confine himself to any ridged media, choosing instead, to engage with multiple materials, seeking only to be articulate. Working from his studio based in Fremantle, Tandy has been a part of numerous group exhibitions, having had his first solo exhibition in 2018 at the Atrium Gallery (WA) titled False Alarm. Curated by Bennet Miller, the exhibition included a piano-organ orchestra where cacti took the place of musicians, creating a cacophony of thick sound which filled the space. The motivation behind much of Tandy’s work is a term he calls ‘a proof of life’; essentially a non-objective language derived from living - a form of documentation. “Perhaps you can’t make art about life,” says Tandy, “if that’s so, I hope the work might become a proof of art, in life.”. More recently, Tandy has been writing
short and often abrasive anti-folk songs, whose lyrics reference the love he has for his dog, Maggie, and regurgitate what he feels, sees or wonders about the world. Whilst the music has a basic structure, it changes every time it is played. Tandy’s practice attempts to be open ended, like a sentence without a full stop.

Images courtesy of the artists.