David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton are Sydney-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2005. Both are graduates of Sydney College of the Arts. Recent exhibitions include Dream Machines at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery (2017); Between Worlds at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery (2015) and Mind the Gap at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2014).Together, the artists have undertaken residencies in Paris, London, Los Angeles and New York, and have received grants from the Australia Council and Arts NSW. Their work is held in public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Wollongong Art Gallery and Macquarie Group. David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton are represented by Gallery 9 in Sydney.
Our work is heavily influenced by pre-cinematic optical illusions, traditional museum displays and theatrical magic. Much of our art takes the form of quasi-dioramas and models, incorporating elements of motion and optical phenomena. These objects and techniques have historically been used to explore existential questions and supernatural possibilities. By appropriating iconic snippets from cinema or history, small fragments are re-staged within sculptural installations in order to observe and reconfigure familiar narratives. The dreamlike scenes convey familiar feelings such as anxiety and despair, magnified by repetition and the constructed nature of the scene. Central to our practice is a preoccupation with an in-between state: the twilight space between seeing and knowing, existence and absence, natural and supernatural, aspiration and action.