T1-MMT-P5 Exhibition – The Charged Object

The Charged Object: soft sculpture and the aesthetics of touch
Gallery Lane Cove
(online catalogue)

This was a fascinating exhibition given my own collection of vessels and the ongoing research on objects. In this post I will only discuss a few of the exhibitors.

JohnBrooks Transgenesis


John Brooks Transgenesis

John Brooks

John Brooks’s installation included handwoven lengths and a projection. It was arranged to create a cave-life effect for the viewer. The video was reminiscent of B-grade science fiction movies, shambling bipeds moving through a rocky terrain.

Of interest to me was the use of weaving – a technique I am keen to return to. The viewing screen was reflective tape including an a weaving, which also incorporated a fur-like effect similar to the bipeds’ costumes. The combination of textiles, video and performance was very effective.

Nicole Monks Sheemu

Nicole Monks

Nicole Monks  Sheemu

Nicole Monks

Nicole Monks also used performance and video in her work. The sculpture was made from wool and feathers, an amalgam of sheep and emu, introduced and native species respectively. It was animated through performance in the videos, set in a woolshed and in the Australian bush. Sound was important, grating machinery contrasting with bird song. The videos were strangely static, but the installation combined to give a dischordant, unsettling effect.

The video and sculpture were less integrated, felt a little more clumsy than Brooks’s work, where any clumsiness seemed a deliberate choice.

Brett Alexander

Brett Alexander

Brett Alexander Hang up(s)  / Pink is for ...?

Brett Alexander
Hang up(s) / Pink is for …?

Brett Alexander’s group of works may appear less relevant to my own work. Although three dimensional they were displayed mainly flat along a wall of the gallery with no additional multi-media element. I am particularly interested in how cohesive and yet how varied the collection was, given my own challenges with a wildly varied collection.

All the works shown used circular knitted yarn, hung to form narrow verticals with many variations in the detail. The palette was restricted, mainly pink, red, grey, black.

Alexander explores identity, challenges the feminisation of textiles. The works have a visceral quality and are often sexually charged.

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Overall lessons for me are to keep working on video and to keep thinking about what a collection of objects could be. Alexander’s group suggests that there can be a lot of variation between works while still maintaining unity. It’s not a simple repetition | individualistic dichotomy.

However another revelation is that some of my collection, with suitable scaling and development, would not appear out of place in this exhibition. There’s the question of the focus on soft sculpture while most of my textile work was hardened in resin, but I think that would provide an interesting counterpoint, especially given the clear textile genesis. In a very haptic exhibition there was no touching – requiring firm self-discipline and losing part of the essence of “soft”. I could play with how much and where I used the resin. I also think some of my pieces show a response to gravity, an important element in Claes Oldenburg’s work (which was referenced via a quote from Celant in the exhibition. See my brief comment on Oldenburg’s work 7-Feb-2015).

I’ve had pieces that were minor elements in ATASDA‘s non-juried exhibitions. I’ve never before thought that my work could bring an interesting additional element to an exhibition like this.

Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Exhibition – The Charged Object
T1-MMT-P5 Exhibition – The Charged Object

1 Response to “T1-MMT-P5 Exhibition – The Charged Object”

  1. 1 Weekly roundup – a new rhythm? | Fibres of Being Trackback on April 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm

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