2011

Title: Little thefts

Alliance Francaise de Melbourne

Materials: tracing paper, baking flour, mixed media, garden snails.

2011

The cultivation of the art of gastronomy at the Court of Versailles was mediated by the intimate connection between philosophical and political discourse, absolutism and the “feminising” of the aristocracy. The great public repast, known as Le Grand Couvert, was the symbol of power on a daily basis.  Each evening the King and Queen sat on armchairs, facing an audience of courtiers and members of the public, who assembled to watch the royal couple dining.  Nearby at Trianon, the fashion for nature was fed in part by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s writings on the moral and educational virtues of a rural life.

At the Alliance Francaise de Melbourne, I set out Le Grand Couvert in a Rousseauian manner.  Colonies of snails, fed by revolutionary ideas of equality and natural goodness show little regard for the powers of the State and the pressures of Civilization as they wander through a history of Versailles gardens mapped out in baking flour.  As they wander each day across the boundaries and borders of the gardens, they produce their own bread, which is then collected and placed on the silver service.  The digestion and production of this map leaves a fertile ground for new forms of thinking and life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 mirror image

2011

Materials:  plaster, pigment, goldleaf.

Dimensions:  approximate dimensions of  the reconstructed archaeological site

Title:  mirror image

Location: Lorne,  Victoria

There was the Louvre with its many luminous objects of antiquity, suggestive of southern skies and the proximity of the sea….[i]

“ …there went forth from [this stone sculpture] a sky which remained about it, distance lay folded on each of its feathers, one could spread it out and make it vast.[ii]  

My work of sculpture is to give an image to something as if to make it real.  I work with the remnants collected from the Louvre, and with plaster, minerals and pigments.  Liquid plaster is poured into bowls positioned on rocky outcrops on the cliff face.  It spills, flowing into streams down the crumbling soil, around plant and rocks before setting at the base of the cliff.  Sheets of gold leaf crumble in the breeze before sticking to the damp surface of the plaster.  Blue pigments and oxides poured directly onto the plaster start a chemical reaction causing colours leaching from the plaster and the soil to fragment and separate into multiple hues and tones. It is a though colour is what is left of life beyond the wars, violence, theft and vandalism that the Victory of Samothrace embodies.  Colour is what’s left of form and what’s left of sculpture.

Life takes over and the small skinks, ants and other insects follow these networks of colour navigating the cliff face.  Colour is once again made luminous by the minerals of the earth, the light of the sky and sea, and the life they sustain.



[i]

  Rainer-Maria Rilke, The Rodin Book, Quartet, London, 1986, p.4.

[ii] Rilke, ibid. p. 5.

 

 

 

 

 

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