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Shaun Gladwell


Shaun Gladwell | Storm sequence (Still) 2000 | SD, 8:40 minutes, 4:3, stereo | Videography: Técha Noble; Original soundtrack: Kazumichi Grime | Commissioned by Peter Fay | Courtesy: The artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney

b.1972 Australia 
Lives and works in Sydney

In recent years Shaun Gladwell has gained a national and international profile for his videos, which feature acts of physical prowess and endurance. After an injury ended his ambitions to become a professional skateboarder, Gladwell began to experiment with video, filming street subculture arts such as skateboarding, breakdancing and BMX-bike riding.

Storm sequence 2000 is the work that established Gladwell’s reputation, for which he filmed himself skateboarding on a concrete ledge above the crashing waves at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Surfers can be seen in the background as a reminder of the origin of skating. A sense of peril is present in the dark storm clouds that roll in behind him, which Gladwell likens to the brooding skys in a JMW Turner painting. The footage is significantly slowed, and his repetitive tricks and turns are mesmerising. Gladwell has described the work as an ‘isolated figure moving and struggling through the panoramas of nature (urban and ‘real’) in a possible engagement with the sublime’.

Exhibitions (solo): ‘MADDESTMAXIMVS: Planet and Stars Sequence’, Institute of Modern Art (IMA), Brisbane, 2010; ‘In a station of the metro’, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, 2008; ‘New Balance’, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth, 2004. Exhibitions (group): ‘Love Letters: Ampliamento e allestimento della nuova collezione del MACRO’, Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy, 2009; ‘Space for Your Future’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, 2007; ‘First We Take Museums’, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland, 2005.