David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton

Night Shift, sculptural triptych | 2024

Eternal Return,2023, paper, glass, plastic, wood, fabric, motors and electronics. Photo: the artists.
Eternal Return,2023, paper, glass, plastic, wood, fabric, motors and electronics. Photo: the artists.
Night Shift, sculptural triptych. @ Railway Station
History changes depending on who’s telling it, and who’s hearing it. Night Shift is a series of three immersive sculptures that utilise diorama modelling techniques and optical illusion to interrogate the elevation of certain histories, particularly those that privilege narratives focusing on ideas such as progress, prosperity, discovery and growth. Using Kandos as a site of exploration, the project is a contemplation on the transient nature of perception and the enduring power of storytelling to shape our shared reality.


David Lawrey & Jaki Middleton are Australian-born artists living and working on the unceded lands of the Wangal and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, they are best known for their integration of optical and kinetic elements to create compelling dreamlike scenes. Both are graduates of Sydney College of the Arts. The artists previously participated in Cementa19, and their work has been exhibited widely in Australia and internationally including at ACMI Melbourne, Performance Space, Sydney, FACT Liverpool, UK and the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, USA. The artists have received grants from Creative Australia and Arts NSW and their work is held in the collections of the MCA Australia and Wollongong Art Gallery. In 2023, they were awarded the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award. David and Jaki are represented by Gallery 9 in Sydney.


We actively seek to connect with audiences by creating immersive works that reconfigure familiar scenes to create new meaning. Increasingly, our practice responds to issues such as the climate crisis, colonisation, and social alienation; and reflects upon our own personal complicity in the systems and cycles that drive the status quo. We are interested in the multifaceted and constructed nature of histories - personal, physical, cultural, and fictional - and the way that these histories are always intertwined, malleable, and perpetually shifting. 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. The dreamlike scenes convey familiar feelings and sensations, magnified by repetition and the constructed nature of the scene.

Materials | sculptural diorama
Location | Railway Station