Space rocks – the mysterious mundane

Sue Nelson
23 June 2015

Melbourne, AUST – A collection of luminous rocks set against stark backgrounds, as unmediated and unadorned as artefacts on display in a museum.

Meteorites carry their mythology lightly. They contain, simultaneously, the threat of apocalypse and … well, the familiarity, the look and the feel of garden-variety rock.

What is the provenance of these objects, so instantly earthly and tangible, and yet imbued with the unknowable; the timelessness of the extraterrestrial? What do they tell us about our own battered planet? Will they batter it further?

Melbourne artist Kim Vernon explores his long-held fascination with space, geo-science, pre-history and the unknown in his new exhibition, It Came From Outer Space, his first since his return to Australia.

Vernon’s status as observer and outsider, consolidated by a long stint as an expat artist working in Beijing, affords him a unique perspective on the concept of ‘the alien’.

Through Vernon’s eyes, these ancient samples from outer space glow darkly in shadowy negative space – the photorealistic sheen of a restricted palate throwing his subject into stark relief.

Captured, preserved and – literally and figuratively – collected, Vernon allows these simple, elegant, silent rocks to intimate something of the moral panic and chaos that is often provoked by the extended contemplation of space, history, matter and existence.

These things might be the death of us – rained down in some unearthly storm – but reined in and suspended in the gallery space, they convey a curious familiarity, power and beauty.


It Came from Outer Space

An exhibition of new works by Kim Vernon


Thursday 2nd July until Friday 31st July

Opening: Thursday 2nd July, 6:00 – 8:00m

and: Saturday 4th July, 12:00 – 3:00pm


St. Heliers Gallery, Abbotsford Convent

1 St. Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne


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