George Town (Gallery 2) is a kind of love letter to the vernacular architecture of this UNESCO heritage-listed city, the capital of the Malaysian island of Penang – ‘oozing’, in the artist’s words, ‘with the kind of tropical colonial stuff I love’. The exhibition furthers Darwin-based artist Chayni Henry’s interest in local built heritage, as seen with her most recent solo exhibition, Foundation – new paintings by Chayni Henry, at Outstation Gallery, Darwin (2013). George Town reflects the artist’s desire to ‘start a relationship with the architecture of SE Asia’, with the work continuing her distinctive painted cut-out, narrative forms, and drawing on a research visit to Penang earlier this year.
Chayni Henry is one of Darwin/the NT’s leading contemporary artists with a practice (since 2002) largely involving painting and printmaking. In 2012, she re-launched Red Hand Prints with fellow Darwin artist Franck Gohier. She was the overall winner of the inaugural Togart Award (2007), and was represented in the annual Primavera exhibition (Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney) in 2006. Chayni has previously held 10 solo exhibitions (in Darwin, Sydney, and Hobart), and participated in numerous group exhibitions. Her work is held in many notable public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Corrigan Collection, Laverty Collection, Artbank, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. www.redhandprints.com
Chayni's research trip to Penang was assisted by the NT Government through Arts NT.