‘All We Can’t See’ by Will Cox. The Saturday Paper, August 4th, 2018
“Hanging in the middle of Melbourne’s fortyfivedownstairs gallery is a digital print by artist Ian Strange. In it is a suburban house in the early evening, a calm setting, though the house is rendered totally black, as if charred by some grisly blaze.
On a card next to the image is an account of the incident that inspired it, which reads:
“Type of Incident: Actual self-harm. 02 March 2015. Risk rating: Critical. Downgraded? No. [REDACTED] was walking out of IHMS toward the bus stop. SCA CM [REDACTED] witnessed [REDACTED] pick up two or three rocks and swallowed them. Whiskey 1 and another officer restrained [REDACTED] to prevent him picking up any more rocks: [REDACTED] calmed once restrained.”
Something plays out between this stark description of the act and Strange’s image, with its eerie calm. The clear, straight architectural lines of this dark, tarnished home and the trimmed garden brim with tension. Strange, who was born in Australia, is now based in Brooklyn. It’s perhaps this distance that gives him such a precise view of one of modern Australia’s darkest conflicts.”