Friday, 30 October 2015

Friday Five: Artistic Expression

I stumbled across an exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre called Landscapes of Decay. It features work by artists from a collective called Random9. Working in a range of mediums, they use this exhibition to explore the influence of disintegration. The exhibition is curated by Liz Taggart-Speers, and the following statement is quoted in the catalogue:
"Disintegration is a subtle whispering, a barely realised theme of everything in life. It is as finely woven into the textures of humanity as birth, creation, war, sex and love." 
As our world continually decays, erodes and transforms, we have an artistic desire to capture the ephemeral nature of our existence. Despite the expression 'as old as the hills', landscapes are impermanent. Their living nature makes them vibrant and precious, and the ability to transform with time inspires these artists to attempt to capture their essence.

From the trees branching out of seats of learning in Dianne Libke's sculpture (the dictionary supporting the found wood are enclosed within a bell jar, preventing them from access to oxygen and carbon dioxide), to Camallie Guest's black and gold pigment wash and charcoal image of a peacock with feathers named for disasters caused by human intervention, the implications of the artwork are there for the viewer to interpret. I imagine that the latter with its colour scheme of the images painted for posterity onto Greek vases and the like juxtaposed with the stereotype of shrieking vanity suggests we should be ashamed of having caused such destruction to humanity and the environment.

Melinda Brouwer's ceramic boulders remind me of the peculiar rock formations in Tidbinbilla, or the Snowy Mountains. Her work investigates the changes caused in the environment by weather, seasons and the passage of time. Similarly, Naomi Somerville's cold-worked cast glass hints at melting polar ice and all the consequences that entails.

Meanwhile, although the word 'decay' has such negative connotations, Maria Klingner sees a more positive message in transformation and ageing, representing the ups and downs in the rhythms of a baby's heartbeat, captured in a piece of jewellery. She says she likes to examine 'the dynamic connection between adornment, creative expression, daily rituals and embedded memory'.

Five Pieces of Artwork from the Exhibition, Landscapes of Decay:

Memento Senescere... To Grow Old (2015) by Dianne Libke
Promenade of Failed Ideologies (2015) by Camallie Guest
Untitled (2015) by Naomi Somerville
In Utereo (2015) by Maria Klingner

Boulders (2015) by Melinda Brouwer

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