Neighbouring Queen West galleries Erin Stump Projects and Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects have unwittingly teamed up to bring us the perfect summer mix: tropical colour gradients and beautiful boys. 

'Tropical Contact High' is an immersive, collaborative installation by Susy Oliveria and Lauren Hall. The duo has literally set the stage for this exhibition by transforming the gallery space into a superficial beachfront film backdrop: the floors have been painted a sandy beige, the walls feature ribbons of sea blue variants and every outlet powers a sickeningly sweet tropical fruit air freshener. Additionally, Hall and Olivera present their works on artisanal plinths wrapped in stock posters of beach sunsets and framed at their bases by starbursts of coloured, glittery sand. 

Lauren Hall’s hanging planter worlds are the perfect summation of the au courant thirst for sparkles, neon, kitshcy craft and cacti. Her layered sand works are at the same time powerfully nostalgic, recalling both my childhood dirt collection and a corked bottle of psychedelic, swirling sand that sat on the windowsill of my childhood bedroom for ages.

Susy Oliveria’s collage sculptures never cease to excite me. The artist’s established interest in natural elements and landscape transfer easily to the beachside, where she’s experimenting in exciting ways. Oliveria is best known for building three-dimentional forms from two-dimensional photographs; but for this exhibition, she’s relying less on representational quotations and is testing out a more abstracted, geometric language. Additionally, Oliveira plays with the boundaries of collage in , which is a photograph of the sun through cutouts. It’s a seamless collage of paper and light. 

At first, Shauna Born's exhibition at Katharine Mulherin feels a cold, quiet counterpart to 'Tropical Contact High'. The small format portraits rendered in everyday Bic pen seem to bring one's temperature down somewhat; until you look more closely, that is. Politely named 'Galore', the exhibition features a selection from the artist's All The Boys I’d Like To Fuck series. Each delicate, detailed and sensitively rendered drawing is a thus meditation of desire and sex. The portraits reveal a particular fetish for hair that references Steven Shearer’s metal heads and Kris Knight’s ethereal pretty boys. Both shows are literally hot and should not be missed.


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