10 November – 27 November 2011 | MOP PROJECTS – Sydney

Lucas Grogan has created a needlepoint quilt, PRIVATE ISLAND, as the central piece for his new body of work that explores the central metaphor of islands. At once islands are paradises, places of sanctuary and peace, though at the same time they can also be places of isolation and detention. Today it is near impossible to exist apart of one another, the sharing of information an inherit part of our current interconnectedness. No culture, like no man, is an island unto itself. PRIVATE ISLAND acts as both a safe warm refuge and as a proactive shield-like second skin. His works acts as both a microcosm and macrocosm, the duel ability of the work to be at once an autobiographical narrative and a cultural history.


Private Island | Invite Only by Bethany Small 7th November 2011
The Thousands

The blue-and-white palette of Private Island reads like Delftware and like Santorini, and that’s as good a place as any to find your way into it. A needlepoint-embroidered patchwork quilt, some watercolour and acrylic paintings provide the ground for Grogan’s tribe of Haringly loose-limbed and hairily classical-featured men to enact our culturally necessitated interconnectedness, seen through his understanding of islands as ‘places of sanctuary and peace, though at the same time they can be places of isolation and detention’. These are people on holidays and people in relationships, whether they want to be or not.

It is the ‘no man is an island‘ thing, even where the posited community is not one that is necessarily enthusiastic about so being. There is a lot of sex and blame and self-interest, all of which are largely treated as self-gratifying mechanisms, but because we need other people to be able to do those things the solipsistic is also, paradoxically, the social. Through the rawness of the desires expressed, there is also a sense of intimacy. Closeness is created by the personal and temporal investiture of the artist in the intricacy of Grogan’s techniques and his declared use of autobiographical material to constitute social commentary. Go meditate on this emergent occasion, John Donne.