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glencore children’s exhibition perc tucker regional gallery | 29 august - 19 october 2014


Free guided tours are available, and for further information, or to give feedback on education and public programs provided by the Gallery contact: Amber Church | (07) 47 279 011 |


Through Gallery Services, Townsville City Council owns and operates two premier regional galleries, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in the city’s CBD, and Pinnacles Gallery located within the Riverway Arts Centre in Thuringowa Central. The 2014 Glencore Children’s Exhibition, Troy Emery: into the wild, showcases the stunning works of Melbourne-based artist Troy Emery.


Family Fun Days 9am - 11am every Sunday during the exhibition. Free drop-in art activities at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. No bookings required. Animal Stories at the Gallery 11am every Saturday and Sunday during the exhibition. Enjoy animal story readings at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. Youth Workshop - Wild Things Saturday 6, 13 and 20 September. Soft Sculpture Workshop Series with artist Lisa Vickery. Bookings Essential. Art Escape School Holiday Workshops Art workshops conducted by local artists exploring themes from the exhibition. Bookings Essential. 10.30am – 12.30pm, 22 – 26 September | Perc Tucker Regional Gallery 10.30am – 12.30pm, 29 September – 3 October | Pinnacles Gallery

Cover image : Troy Emery Saint Euphemia 2013 Acrylic yarn, polyurethane mannequin, pins, hot glue and painted timber base, 130 x 50 x 64 cm Courtesy, Gould Galleries. Photo: John Brash


Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Cnr. Denham & Flinders St, 4810 (07) 4727 9011

@TCC_PercTucker /PercTuckerTCC Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 2pm Closed Public Holidays

CONTENTS PAGE About the Artist – Troy Emery 4

History of Soft Sculpture 5

Worksheet 1 - Objects and Meaning 6

Elements of Soft Sculpture


Worksheet 2 – Texture and Form 8

Worksheet 3 – Scale and Form 9

Colour 11

Worksheet 4 – Colour and Pattern 12

Animals in Fashion, Design and Popular Culture 13

Animals in Art and Mythology 14

Worksheet 5 – Mythical Stories 15

Worksheet 6 - Mythical Animals in Paintings 16

Animals in Indigenous Australian Culture and the Dreaming 18

Worksheet 7 – X-ray Animals 19

ABOUT THE ARTIST – TROY EMERY An object-based sculptor, Emery grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland, before relocating to Hobart, Tasmania, to attend art school. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) at the Hobart School of Art, University of Tasmania in 2005. Following this, the artist completed a Masters of Fine Art at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney in 2010, before again moving to work in Melbourne. Emery creates suites of artworks – primarily ‘soft sculpture’ works – that investigate the history of humans’ relationship with animals, and how these relationships are underpinned by our ability to give meaning to them. Of particular interest to Emery is the tension between decoration and representation, with humans seeing animals not only as living creatures, but also as decorative objects. Emery refers to his sculptures as ‘fake taxidermy’ because they mimic the process of taxidermy without actually producing a real result. The particular animals he chooses to work with fall between being exotic and easily recognisable. The colours of his animals are like those of exotically coloured birds of paradise prized for the vibrancy of their feathers. Some of the animals’ poses and statures seem aggressive, contradicting their soft, colourful costumes – just as in nature where many soft, cuddly animals can be quite unpleasant up-close. The role of surface and colour in the production of these sculptures is an exaggeration of the qualities sought after in exotic wildlife. The luscious pompom pelt is a camp interpretation of the way skins and furs are cherished and desired by humans. As natural specimens or species, his animal sculptures are impossible combinations of form, colour, and materials. They can only exist as hypothetical or mythological animals. What fascinates Emery about these areas of investigation is that there is, especially historically, a place for fantastical, fake animals.


HISTORY OF SOFT SCULPTURE Soft Sculpture is typically made using cloth, foam rubber, plastic, paper, fibers and similar material that are supple and non-rigid. They can also be made out of natural materials if combined to make a non-rigid object. Following the Pop Art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s, Soft Sculpture was popularised in the 1960s by artists such as Claes Oldenburg, born in Sweden in 1929. Soft Sculptures evolved out of Oldenburg’s early work with props and objects used for performances. Using papier-mâché, sacking and other rough materials, Oldenburg explored a number of subjects including figures, signs and everyday objects. In 1961 he explored mediums of plaster and enamel, inspired by items of food and cheap clothing. His sculptures were presented with an oversized scale utilising simplified forms, and floppy, deflated shapes, which expressed psychological issues or reflected human despair. Oldenburg’s work is described as breaking down the barriers between art and life. This is achieved by forming direct relationships with ordinary people and his sculptures by re-creating everyday objects. A popular thread in Oldenburg’s work and that of other Soft Sculpture artists is an interest in anthropology, or a documentation of objects in a less organic, more exaggerated and geometric manner. There is often an appearance of metamorphosis where one object gradually develops into another related, but completely unique representation of the original. This process was something that Oldenburg enjoyed particularly when the elements of an object were changed; for example, if an object was once soft it then becomes hard and vice versa. This reversal is often explored by soft sculpture artists. It is important to note the use of scale or exaggeration of size used in the genre of Soft Sculpture. This element is often very important in altering or recreating a particular object and can sometimes be paramount to achieving the conceptual meaning of the work. Another famous Soft Sculpture Artist is Yayoii Kusama who worked alongside Claes Oldenburg and Pop artists such as Andy Warhol. Yayoii Kusama is recognised for her Soft Sculpture works which convey an obsession with patterns and repetition which is directly concerned with the psychological concepts she explores. In Pop Art, subjects are visually removed from their conventional context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material. Troy Emery’s approach to his subjects is very similar and it is the representation of his animals that is most important.

KEY TERMS: Fibre art, textile, textile art, yarn, knitting, weave, sewing, fabrics, EXPLORE: Tapestry, smocking, spinning, quilting, wearable art


WORKSHEET 1 - OBJECTS AND MEANING Let’s take a look at how the meaning of an object can change or morph once it is placed together with another unrelated object. Look at Oldenburg’s Lipsticks (Ascending) On Caterpillar Tracks. This sculpture was first shown in 1969. What two objects has Oldenburg used in this sculpture?

Why do you think he has used these two objects?

Describe what you think the meaning of this work is: Image: Claes Oldenburg’s Lipstick (Ascending) On Caterpillar Tracks,1969. Photo: Creative Commons Attribution licenced image by vige on Flickr.

How has the meaning of the two objects changed?

ACTIVITY 1: Consider the time in which this sculpture was created and research the social, political and artistic climate at this time. Write 100 words on how Oldenburg’s sculpture reflects the social, political and artistic issues at this time, making reference to the objects used. ACTIVITY 2: Create your own sculpture design using 2 different objects – consider the singular meaning of each object and address the ‘new’ meaning created by your design when the objects are paired.

ELEMENTS OF SOFT SCULPTURE There are a number of elements which underpin Soft Sculpture, including: oo Scale oo Form oo Colour oo Texture oo Pattern Materials used in Soft Sculpture often reflect or represent a natural form or texture which is intended to evoke a specific sensation for the viewer. In this way, a relationship is formed between the physical object and our senses, as specific items remind us of certain experiences, such as the warmth of a fur coat. Materials often used in Soft Sculpture: oo Cloth oo Rubber oo Foam oo Paper oo Yarn/string oo Wire oo Reed oo Thread oo Stuffing oo Rope oo Wax oo Starch The creation or assemblage of Soft Sculpture is unique and very different to that of other artistic processes. The myriad of materials used by Soft Sculpture artists introduces varied skills and techniques not used in traditional forms of sculpting. Soft Sculpture Techniques: oo Weaving oo Knotting oo Sewing oo Crochet oo Knitting oo Building/assemblage oo Planting oo Papier-mâché RESEARCH: Below is a list of artists who work with Soft Sculpture. Explore one of the artists listed below and discuss the different elements of Soft Sculpture in each of their bodies of work. For example; Mark Jenkins uses exaggeration of scale, form and the absence of colour in his packing tape sculptures. oo Jeannie Martin, Katie Gardenia, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Isabelle de Borchgrave, Joseph Bueys, Jann Haworth, Eva Hesse, Mark Jenkins


WORKSHEET 2 – TEXTURE & FORM Look at Troy Emery’s work, The Beast 2013. What textiles or materials has Troy Emery used?

What animal do you think it is?

Troy EMERY The Beast 2013, Acrylic yarn, polyurethane mannequin, pins and hot glue. 43 x 80 x 30 cm. Courtesy: Martin Browne Contemporary. Photo: John Brash

Why do you think Troy Emery has recreated this animal?

Does the texture of the work remind you of a decorative item you may find at home or in a store?

How does this relate to the overall concept of Troy Emery’s work?

WORKSHEET 3.1 - SCALE & FORM Exaggeration Flow Chart - Choose an object or animal and morph it into something completely different by using exaggeration. Start by drawing the original subject in box 1. In box 2, exaggerate one aspect of the subject and continue this process until you have a final product in box 4. Colour your design using different colours to the original object.

WORKSHEET 3.2 - SCALE & FORM ACTIVITY 1: Claes Oldenburg’s Ice Bag – scale B is a larger than life sculpture of an everyday ice bag. Brainstorm in small groups why you think Claes Oldenburg chose to create a larger than life ice bag. What meaning can you make from this work? Is the colour important? Is the scale important? Does the form of the work remind you of another object?

Claes OLDENBURG Sweden born 1929. United States of America from 1936 Ice bag – scale B 1971, moulded plastic, synthetic fabric, electric motor, from an edition of 25, 101.5 x 122.0 (diam.)cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Purchased 1975 © Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen

ACTIVITY 2: Choose a household item and design your own soft sculpture on paper using this object as inspiration. Think about what materials you would use. What parts of the object would you exaggerate or keep the same and why? How big or small would it be? What colour would it be?

COLOUR Colour is an important element of art and one that is prominent in many Soft Sculptures, particularly with artists such as Troy Emery. There are three properties of colour: Hue: The name given to a colour. Intensity: The vividness of a colour. The intensity of a colour is often measured by its brightness. Low intensity colours can be described as dull or subtle. Other common references to colour intensity may include colourfulness, saturation and strength. Value: This refers to the shade or tint of a colour. The relationship between colours as demonstrated by the colour wheel below is extremely important to many artists and is key to Troy Emery’s work. The patterns he creates clearly display a consideration of the relationship that exists between colours. For example; complementary colours are colours that are opposite to each other and that when put together enhance the other. comp





Ye ll o



se c

nge Ora

Blue-G reen

e ng ra


ary nd

pl em en



R co m

second ary



le rp u P





Red-Or a ng e


ry onda s ec


Bl ue R ed

e -Purpl




Gr ee

G lowYel


Pre-cut dots in a range of colours and sizes (use the colours presented in the colour wheel above). Make sure you have several of the same colours. Using a Styrofoam ball, paste the coloured circles onto the sphere in a particular pattern. Discuss the importance of complementary colours when deciding what colours to put next to each other. Discuss your choices with your classmates and identify which compositions of colour did and didn’t work. Analyse your findings.


WORKSHEET 4 – COLOUR AND PATTERN Choose a work in the exhibition and list which complementary colours have been used by the artist:

What is the intensity of these colours?

Colour and pattern is prominent in Troy Emery: into the wild and is also used by artist Yayoii Kusama in her Soft Sculptures (see image right). Why do you think these artists use pattern in their work?

Does the pattern affect the way you view the object or understand its meaning? Why?

Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, 1994 / Image courtesy: Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Š Yayoi Kusama, Yayoi Kusama Studio inc.

How does colour and pattern work together to recreate the subject?

ANIMALS IN FASHION, DESIGN AND POPULAR CULTURE Animals and animal patterns have frequently been utilised and referenced by the fashion and design industries. The most obvious example of this is the wearing of furs. Fur is widely thought to be one of the first materials used to create clothing and decorate the body, with several species of hominoids known to have used fur clothing. The fur trade first took root in ancient civilisations in the Mediterranean, and was one of the driving forces of exploration of North America and the Russian Far East. The use of animal print became popular as a status symbol as it represented wealth and was considered exotic. Fur clothing is still produced in many countries today; however anti-fur campaigns became the focus of animal activists in the 1980s and 1990s, arguing that the practice was cruel and unnecessary. Common animal sources for fur clothing and fur trimmed accessories include fox, rabbit, otter, seals, cats, dogs, coyotes, and possum. Troy Emery utilises soft balls and decorative materials such as sequins to create the surface of his sculptures. These materials directly relate to the presumably soft texture of the animals which give them a fashionable and elaborate appearance. Thus, the influence of Pop Art becomes apparent as Emery makes a comment on the practices of mass culture and the use of animals as fashion. Textiles are very prominent in Troy’s work. Textiles have been used to protect, cover and decorate the human body and to soften, insulate and decorate objects, surfaces and interior spaces for centuries. Their function as embellishments and for decorative purposes can be seen throughout the Stone Age and other ancient civilisations, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, through to the Industrial Revolution and present day. Historically textiles are derived from a range of natural sources with the introduction of petroleum-derived synthetic fibres emerging in the 20th century. The introduction of synthetic textiles has enabled a significant expansion in the versatility and usability of textiles.

KEY TERMS: Textiles, synthetic fibre, fur, faux fur EXPLORE: Wearable art, animal prints, animal cruelty, animal activism


ANIMALS IN ART & MYTHOLOGY Troy Emery has described his sculptures as “dream-like monsters�. It is interesting to imagine the stories that these fantastical creatures find themselves in. Mythology is a group of myths or stories and is usually connected to certain cultures and religions. While it is often linked with the ancient past, mythology can refer to any story of how the world came to be or how humans have developed. Throughout the history of mythology from the Mesopotamian and Egyptian times through to the present, animals have always been present. Even as early as the Palaeolithic period, animal costumes were used to carry honoured people into the world of spirits. This shows their great significance to humans and our cultures. Animals can represent various things in mythological stories. These different representations of animals reflect how humans think about them in real life. Through myths, we see that some creatures are more highly regarded than others and that they can be linked with different values; loyalty and bravery are connected to the dog and the lion, respectively. It is important to consider that throughout periods of time and diverse cultures, the way an animal appears in a given story can change. Although myths are often linked with the past, it is generally agreed that mythology still exists today in the form of fantasy books, manga (Japanese comics) and urban myths. Animals remain present in these tales. Bigfoot, a large, hairy ape-like creature was reported in the news to have been seen in a forest in Oregon as recently as 2013. The ongoing presence of myths in our culture makes them a relevant topic of discussion today. Artists have been documenting mythical stories for centuries and depicting the relationship between humans and animals. Over time the mediums and genres in which these stories have been told has changed, from drawing to painting, comic books and sculpture. Troy Emery has developed his own vehicle to engage with mythology through the use of soft textures of pom-poms.

KEY TERMS: Mythology, myths, manga, fantasy EXPLORE: Urban myths, mythological stories


WORKSHEET 5.1 – MYTHICAL STORIES Create your own mythical story. First, list the characteristics of the animals and humans in your story in the space provided. Write your story in the circle below. Then consider the medium you would use to communicate your story in an artwork, eg. Painting, sculpture, photo.





WORKSHEET 5.2 – MYTHICAL STORIES Draw your mythical story artwork in the space below. Use colours, shape and shading to give an accurate depiction of your story. If it is a sculpture, think about what materials you would use to give added meaning to the story.

WORKSHEET 6 – MYTHICAL ANIMALS IN PAINTINGS Piero di Cosimo Perseus Freeing Andromeda 1510 - c. 1515, oil on panel, 70 × 123 cm

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519), widely regarded as one of the greatest inventors and artists to ever live, created many artworks depicting animals throughout his lifetime. One artist influenced by Da Vinci was the Florence painter, Piero di Cosimo. Piero built a strong reputation for his imaginative paintings and mastery of painting flora and fauna. Look at Piero di Cosimo’s painting Perseus Freeing Andromeda and describe the animal in the painting:

This is not a real animal. Why has Piero created the animal in his painting? What meaning does it give to the painting and why has it been included?

ACTIVITY 1: In pairs discuss the following questions: What relationships do you have with animals in your life? What mythical stories do you know that are strongly centred on animals? ACTIVITY 2: Look for other artists who represent mythical animals in their artwork.

ANIMALS IN INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN CULTURE AND THE DREAMING The Dreaming for Australian Indigenous people (sometimes referred to as the Dreamtime or Dreamtimes) is when the Ancestral Beings moved across the land and created life and significant geographic features. The Rainbow Serpent features in the Dreaming stories of many mainland Aboriginal nations and is always associated with watercourses, such as billabongs, rivers, creeks and lagoons. The Rainbow Serpent is the protector of the land, its people, and the source of all life. However, the Rainbow Serpent can also be a destructive force if it is not properly respected. Animals are often celebrated through Indigenous Australian art – the oldest ongoing tradition of art in the world. This is through the painting or engraving of silhouettes of animal forms, and complex figurative paintings that depict detailed figures, such as x-ray art which shows the internal organs of animals. This type of art is especially common to Arnhem Land and surrounding areas.

KEY TERMS: Dreamtime, ancestral beings, Australian Indigenous art EXPLORE: Traditional Australian Indigenous art, rock paintings, x-ray art, creation stories

Yankee Hat Aboriginal Artwork in Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory. Taken by Martyman, November 2005.


WORKSHEET 7 – X-RAY ANIMALS Choose an animal and draw it as an x-ray artwork. Use only lines and circles to create your drawing. You may use thick and thin lines, hollow or solid circles.

ABOUT GALLERY SERVICES AND ITS CREATIVE CLASSROOMS PROGRAM Gallery Services, which includes the operations of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery, offers schools the opportunity for students and teachers to engage with contemporary visual arts practice through its Creative Classrooms program. The aim of the 2014 Creative Classrooms program is to provide structured and creative opportunities to connect with Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery and includes: oo oo oo oo oo oo

Artists in Residence Guided Exhibition Tours Creative Workshops Interactive Educational Resources Professional Development Sessions Artist Guest Lecture Series

The program is focussed on working with schools in a convenient and accessible manner, in response to the concepts, themes and artwork presented by Gallery Services throughout 2014 and in consideration of the current Education Queensland Visual Art Curriculum. An extensive list of the Creative Classrooms program is available through Gallery Services. For further information about the education and public programs provided by Gallery Services contact: Amber Church Education & Programs Coordinator Gallery Services (07) 4773 8872 (07) 4772 3656

Into the Wild | Troy Emery: Education Kit  
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