Chris Orr and Gavin Brown


Sacellum (pron: sa-chell-um): a small chapel within a church, or a sanctuary dedicated to a deity
Sacellum is an infected confection of the sacred and technology. A melancholic wink at consumerism
and spirituality. A dialogue between a certain past and an uncertain future. Chris Orr reclaims
engravings of Renaissance images and layers them with a mélange of modern detritus – from
aluminium cans to discarded laptop motherboards – scanned at ultra-high resolution to reveal
surprising new views and hidden landscapes.
Technology is as omnipotent and omnipresent as religion once was, controlling what we see and feel,
for better or worse. In the past, priests and preachers were the exclusive producers of cultural
propaganda, but today this role is subsumed by the ubiquity of our devices and our connection to the
Sacellum is a contemplation of this control of our hearts and minds; a moving patternation of the
classical and the contemporary. The portals of belief continue to look over us, providing a glimmer of
hope for what lies ahead.

After the Fire
From the end of 2019 into the beginning of 2020, fuelled by years of severe drought, massive
bushfires ravaged much of Australia. Their aftermath had a devastating impact on people and the
land. Thoughts of recovery seemed far from our control. To make sense of it all, Gavin Brown painted
a work called After the Fire – an attempt to find beauty amidst the chaos of the crisis.
And then coronavirus hit. The artist spent the majority of Melbourne’s lockdown in his studio, looking
outward. Once again, everything appeared so ugly. Trying to make sense of this bizarre and difficult
time, Gavin turned his focus to hope. Instead of dwelling on the destruction he chose to concentrate
on the regrowth of Australia’s flowering gums and native flowers. In response to this, he set about
creating optimistic artworks out of that time of devastation.
After the Fire aims to bring a series of works that inspire confidence in the resilience of humankind
and the regrowth of nature.