Togart Contemporary Art Award 2012Winner of People’s Choice
7 Sept – 13 Oct 2012
The Chan Contemporary Art Space
Toothpicks, plywood, PVA and aluminum 10 x 100 x 100cm
Besides being a conversation with the elementary materials of everyday life, this work refers to a landscape, that of the desert. It evolved from a dialogue with my materials. While working with cane and toothpicks to construct architectural forms my attention was drawn to the bulk packages of toothpicks which evoked the undulations of terrain when seen from above. Experimentation with these raw materials led to works that spoke to me of entropy and dissolution since the multiplication of form threatened to collapse any constructed order. From chaos a shifting field of points was created.
In Landscape and Memory Simon Schama writes, ‘Before it can ever be a repose for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built as much from the strata of memory as from layers of rock.’ With this in mind, I no longer look at landscapes detached from their cultural frames and narratives. The experience of working for the western desert art centre of Balgo attuned my eye to an aerial perspective of country. Some time has passed since then and the desert experience has become embedded in my memory as a reverie of the intense beauty of the place, the people who inhabit it and the art derived from it. This piece is an expression of that reverie.
Schama, Simon. Landscape and memory. London: Fontana Press, 1996, p.453
Photos: Talitha Kennedy