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SURFACE

GAFFA GALLERY | SYDNEY 26 OCT - 6 NOV 2017

An exhibition by UNSW Art & Design, Master of Art students. It is with pride and that we present SURFACE, a group exhibition showcasing the diverse studio based practices of the students of the Consolidated Studio course, at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney. This course is designed to support the development of practice based research and provides an opportunity for students to consolidate their practical and conceptual skills through the production of a resolved body of work, in the context of a professional group exhibition experience. The works in SURFACE encapsulate these aims and reflect the notion of ‘practice’ as a dynamic through which newand exciting combinations of making and thinking are arrived at. On behalf of the students I would like to thank; the staff at Gaffa Gallery, Richard Crampton from Darkstar Digital and course convenor Allan Giddy. Most importantly, I would like to congratulate this committed group of emerging artists and commend them for the professionalism with which they conducted themselves throughout this experience. Michelle Cawthorn, sessional lecturer UNSW Art & Design, Sydney. October, 2017


ARTISTS

ALAN HEUNG ANNA NANGLE CAROLINE KRONENBERG CHRISTOPHE DOMERGUE JIYUAN CHRISTINA CAI CIBI NEDUNCHELIAN DEANNE JAMES KOOPELIAN DOMINIQUE MERVEN DORA KISS FARKAS JAMES MCFARLAND JIAYI WU KAROLINA PARTYKA MARIKO GRAY NADEENA DIXON RHONDA NELSON SASHA MISHKIN

PRINT PREPARATION DOMINIQUE MERVEN

PRINT LIAISON

SINEAD DAVIES

SEAN JACKSON SHIRIN FARSAD

PHOTOGRAPHY

SINEAD DAVIES SORAYA NEMATOLLAHI XIANG MENG

INTERIOR LAYOUTS

JIYUAN CHRISTINA CAI

MAY HASSAN

TIANTONG GE

COVER DESIGN

KAROLINA PARTYKA

JULIE MATHERS

SEAN JACKSON TIANTONG GE XIANG MENG

PRINTING

DARKSTAR DIGITAL

WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO:

SESSIONAL LECTURER: MICHELLE CAWTHORN COURSE CONVENOR: ALLAN GIDDY


The Colours of a Metropolis in Bloom

Alan Heung

mixed media

Metropolises are represented in media as dystopias that detail both their citizens' frustrations and futuristic ambitions. Growing up in an extensive culture of capitalism, I have lived accordingly with consumerist satisfaction. Childhood was always filled with new discoveries within the otherwise claustrophobic enclosing skyscrapers. Fuelled by my reminiscence, I aim to relive emotions through views of such a metropolis; perpetually in motion and teeming with life. The stretch of congested streets and mundane yet visceral day-to-day activities reminds of the daily struggles to find a silver lining in an ultra competitive society. The Colours of a Metropolis in Bloom is an allegorical representation of Hong Kong that celebrates a contemporary city's emotional content. This is highlighted by the large variety of personas and organic elements that juxtapose the rigidness of modern architecture with life's colours. The expanse of city landscape is at the core of what captures the fleeting scenes of everyday life among both expatriates and locals. Using fantastical characters and environments, my art would convey a personal narrative of co-existence.


Australia is Harder to See 16mm film, black and white

vimeo.com/user38890745 www.instagram.com/annanangle

Anna Nangle

Robert Frost wrote America is hard to see, in a poem about Columbus discovering America. If America is hard to see I think Australia is even harder to see. As a nonindigenous Australian I have always felt a sense of cultural disconnection to the land and its stories, and that I am somehow unable to see it. Culture comes from the layering of stories and memories about place and people. In this film I have reinterpreted and reframed two locations in Sydney in an attempt to create a deeper mythology of place. These places are Curlew Camp where Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton camped on Sydney Harbour in the 1890‘s and The Yellow House in Potts Point, founded by Martin Sharp in the 1970’s. I have chosen these sites as allegories for two states of being, the youthful innocence that exists within nature and the mature experience needed to survive the city. I have chosen to work with film because it is an object not a file. The materiality of film, its vulnerability and preciousness, its breathing and flickering allows me to capture a sense of nostalgia, history and narrative. It allows me to see.


www.instagram.com/caroline_kronenberg

Caroline Kronenberg

Documenting Ephemera water, ink, paper, glass, corten steel

The intention for Documenting Ephemera is to highlight the unique and unrepeatable n a t u re o f e a c h m o m e n t i n t i m e . M y installation hopes to invite the viewer to witness an instant of time and motion, as well as the trace it leaves behind. I am interested in how human beings deal with the passing of time. We all have our tactics, whether it be through religion, culture or other means. My practice explores all things temporal, encompassing memories of the past, being mindful of the present moment, or our hopes and fears for the future. The notion of producing art that intentionally has a very short lifespan has intrigued me for some time, as art galleries and museums have historically focused on preserving and restoring art in order to maintain its value. Documenting Ephemera aims at furthering ideas of how we document and think about preserving ephemeral art. In keeping with the temporal aspect of this work, I will return to it regularly to replace both paper and ink. At the end of the exhibition I will memorialise each “document� and post it on Instagram.


www.instagram.com/christophunk9 www.christophedomergue.com

Christophe Domergue

Post Industrial Peeling # - Spontaneous Combustion through ecstatic dance mixed media

Christophe Domergue’s new body of work unveils what he terms ‘peelings’. This term captures the physical process of peeling a surface and the materiality of the artwork. In creating peelings there is the element of surprise. The surprise is what the cast lifts and leaves behind. Although Domergue generates the conditions through which these works are made possible, what is revealed cannot be fully controlled. This series of peelings Domergue has named ‘Post-Industrial Peelings’, capturing the particularities of this site: an abandoned industrial site in Marrickville. Originally chosen as a suitable place for testing this new process and technique, Domergue realised the site brought back memories of a significant time in his life: the Sydney rave subculture. On further reflection, he realised his affinity with industrial areas originated even earlier. Domergue grew up in Cromer on the northern beaches, sandwiched between industrial area and the bush. As a child he was drawn to the industrial area, playing there on the weekends. This allowed him freedom to explore these environments and experience the forbidden, a place where he was not supposed to be. For this particular body of work Domergue has assumed the role of artist as archaeologist, aiming to capture the detritus of a burnt-out meat factory, where the substrata of the site, captured in the peelings, enacts a metaphor for his memory of those places. The site is set for redevelopment and once that happens there may be no trace of what existed previously other than Domergue’s peelings.


www.instagram.com/christina7cai

Jiyuan Christina Cai

Go for hope

fabric, light, fishing line, glue

In real life, everything is not only felt by one sense. When you experience life with multiple senses, it leaves a lasting impression on your mind. People usually just stand and look at artworks but how about art that can be felt and held? Go for hope is an installation made of fabric, fishing line and glue and light. Inspired by stage design, layouts, light and objects are applied to produce the new space. In this created room, the viewer is immersed into a new world and is encouraged to touch the artwork, accentuating their feelings by combining the senses of sight and touch. The concept of the artwork is to encourage people to believe there is always hope in the future. The main part of the installation is a rectangular, hand stitched fabric which bears different textiles. The textiles transition from roughness on the edges to softness in the center. In the center, light shines through the fluffy cotton, which resembles our hopes for the future. The middle cotton component is situated in a corner while the rest is pinned on both adjacent sides of the wall. This form provides the viewer with an isolated space to feel and observe the artwork. When viewers walk towards the light, they can feel the textile becoming softer with their hands.


The Whale’s Song

Cibi Nedunchelian

wood, metal

In the 20th century the rate of extinction for species is up to hundred times higher than it would have been without man's impact. This wooden sculpture made from discarded materials is an expression of the responsibility I feel as an artist to raise the awareness of wildlife extinction. In my work, I tend to explore the facts and scientific changes happening to the earth and its creatures. I have chosen to depict the humpback whale because they are such beautiful, intelligent and charismatic marine animals. The excessive amount of plastic in the oceans does particular damage to humpback whales, whose migration routes traverse directly through the Pacific trash vortex, where they swim through miniscule pieces of plastic and consume them as they swim. In addition to this they have to deal with marine noise pollution, oil spills and commercial whaling which has decimated their population. I have used the recycled waste materials of wood, metal and jute to create this sculpture in an attempt to highlight the need for us to consider more carefully the life cycle of raw materials.


www.deannejkart.com www.instagram.com/djk_art

Deanne James Koopelian

A Mermaids Tale

plaster and mixed media sculpture Deanne is a multidisciplinary artist with much experience in drawing, painting and taxidermy. Recently she has been experimenting, in a meaningful and unconventional way, with mixed media and natural found objects used within her paintings and sculptures. The conceptual basis for this project incorporates her many interests in psychoanalysis, philosophy, nature, and the fantastical. The Little Mermaid, a classic fairytale authored by Hans Christian Anderson, was the primary inspiration in creating this life size sculpture. The process of making became an important part of Deanne’s initial intention, which was to uncover the hidden aspects of self and her mysterious yet deeply felt connection to this childhood narrative. The sculpture was created through an intensive process of hand building, modelling, body casting and carving techniques using plaster and other material such as objects found on a sailing expedition to the Coral Sea. The artwork becomes a timeless physical manifestation of the unconscious mind as intricate coral and shell casts are aggregated within the cavity of the figure, representing the rich inner world of the artist. This contrasts with the smooth outer form that is reminiscent of an ancient mythical goddess abound with Jungian and idealist symbology. The self is portrayed as fantastical, reflecting how the imagination is viewed as both subject and agent for spiritual transformation just as the artist is both subject and creator of the artwork.


Norwood Rise

coloured pencil, pastel, watercolour and gouache on watercolour paper

www.dominiquemerven.com

Dominique Merven

My practice has a focus on nostalgia for time and place, its associated idealism, melancholy beauty and bittersweet impossibility. Employing a range of symbolic elements, both personally relevant and picked at random, I create ambiguity-filled collage-like compositions that attempt to emulate the erratic and senseless nature of dreams, and the reimagined histories they present to us, like tableaux of a memory cache. These works form part of an ongoing series exploring ideas of dreams and memory, as imagined vinyl album cover artworks. I grew up surrounded by the images and long songs of the progressive rock era, thanks to my dad’s love of the genre. As a result, I developed a strange nostalgia for this time in history of seemingly unbridled creativity, despite not having lived it myself. I am interested in both real and unreal memory, and how over-romanticisation of the past, while tantamount to folly, has perennial appeal. In the common square format of vinyl cover sleeves, I found an ideal template on which to examine these ideas, and give new permanence to something of lessening ubiquity. In Norwood Rise, as in the rest of this series, islands and floating rock fragments exist just out of reach, flowers and other organic objects become symbols of past narratives, while objects melt into others, referencing the dreaming subconscious. The vinyl cover format and borrowing of real-world album cover design pull the ethereal themes back to human culture, while the lack of accompanying music lend them a vagueness, like an obtuse, suspended historicity.


Once upon a time…

www.instagram.com/adorafkiss

Dora Kiss Farkas

oil on canvas

Once upon a time… explores the topic of extinction, the connection between life and death, and mankind’s unintended influence over nature. It is estimated that more than 90% of all life forms that ever existed on earth have become extinct. As new species adapt to ecological changes, others vanish. My work is a large-scale oil on canvas painting which explores the story of the last Dodo, depicting its final moment before it perished forever. I approach the story of this awkward and often under-valued bird with a dark sense of humour to draw attention to the impending ruin of our planet and all its living species. My life-sized subjects are placed on a dining table awaiting their inevitable fate. The table setting is reminiscent of Dutch still life paintings, as the Dodo became extinct in the era of the Vanitas as the victim of a Dutch sailor on an expedition to Mauritius.


Pages from the Dark Triad

James McFarland

mixed media collage

My work to this point has abstracted human anatomy which displays signs of age, decay, and damage. I draw influence from stories of the uncanny, unexplained, and unsolved, and in recent years, I have enjoyed exploring human empathy towards animals and what the corporeal human is. In this work I have taken book pages as grounds to assemble a collection of individual collages which take inspiration from the dark triad. The dark triad is made up of three undesirable personality traits; Psychopathy, Narcissism, and Machiavellianism. A person with all three of these personality traits has a lack of empathy, a disregard for moralities, is manipulative of others, and has excessive love for oneself. Taking influence from these characteristics, the mixed emotions, or lack thereof, are reflected in the arrangements offering strange and twisted configurations of these behaviours. Images were sourced from a range of illustrative books, magazines, and other media which add complexity to each page and maintain harmonious compositions. On each page, the viewer can find suggestions and depictions of manipulation, indifference, and vanity evocative of a Surrealistic or Dadaistic style. In creating these works, I illustrate the challenges and confusion that people with these personality traits as well as those in their lives who are also affected. In addition, one can experience a positive and creative expression of something only spoken of regularly in a negative sense.


Stifle

photography

Jiayi Wu

The background and experience of fashion design inspires my photographs, which explores the current state of the fashion industry. I view clothing as a conduit through which each of us can communicate a message about who we are inside. However, the industry of the present has reinvented itself into a culture of extreme materialism, resulting in an exceedingly high price that must be paid for the privilege of selfexpression. To dissect the issues, I am currently working with a symbology that connects human rights with the imagery of broken flowers in airtight container. In particular, I ruminate on optimistic visions of globalisation, whereby richer nations obtain cheaper products, with the promise of creating jobs for the citizens of poorer countries, jobs that are said to provide the opportunities needed to break out of poverty and unhappy circumstances. However, I then exposes globalisation’s darker side, particularly in Cambodia, where inequality and poor conditions have led to an uprising which challenges the exploitative politics that have violated their basic human rights. I want to bring out the emotions from the photography and communicating with you. The reality and true cost from current fashion industry.


With In inkjet print

www.juliemathers.net www.lensculture/juie-mathers

Julie Mathers The moments of waiting or idleness in life prompts one to question what thoughts or images are going through one’s mind, or, if the mind is at peace with no thought. With In is a series of photographic images, reconstructing moments from everyday life. I have used females in moments of reflection, memory, inner emotion or just the moment of absence of thought. The images are staged using family and friends who have been through a traumatic experience in life, in locations that suggest the everyday. I wanted to use a range of females at different ages going through their own personal thoughts, turmoil or reflection. Each age group going through their own aspirations, fear or memory. For example, the single mother with little money bringing up her two young children, the woman that has had a past of abuse, and so forth. The images reflect the moments in-between life, moments of waiting, of the pauses between the next active activity. The images are constructed using compositions that single out the model evoking a sense of isolation. Intimate moments of solitude and personal reflection. The models are encapsulated within the moment of their own mind, the surroundings become obsolete. However, the surrounding should suggest to the viewer that the outside world revolves, but that we can disappear within ourselves.


www.karolinapartyka.com

Karolina Partyka

Nature Calls (Mt Hay Wilderness, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia) Live Solar-Powered Telephone Installation (In-Situ), Digital Photographic Print, Embossed Label In recent years, I have been spending increasing amounts of time in wilderness locations. I have been quiet, passive, listening and learning the language of the wild, and with that, coming to understand the great loss of humanity’s connection with our earth. Nature Calls came from a contemplation of this loss, and the factors which play a role in our increasing separation. We spend much of our time in urban environments, focused on our technological connections, forgetting to pay attention to the great wisdom of the earth which we are irrevocably a part of. Even our interactions with nature, our journeys to natural wonders, are increasingly experienced through the camera lens of a smartphone, carefully framed for maximum social media impact. A telephone is installed directly into the wilderness, programmed to answer calls automatically. The calls can be made by anyone, from any phone. It serves to emphasise of our disconnection from that which we are inherently part of, via the ineffectual act of trying to connect through a technological conduit. It also exists as an exercise in grieving, echoing the melancholic futility of calling a deceased loved-one’s phone to hear their voice message, and connect just one more time. Nature’s call is quiet. It rarely raises its voice. Nature Calls asks us to return that call. The phone will be live 26 October 2017 7 November 2017.


Mood Cards, 2/8/17 - 22/9/17

www.destroyermariko.com

Mariko Gray

mixed media on playing cards on felt

Living with a long-term form of depression, each day comes to me with its own unpredictable mood swings. My work explores these fluctuations in a series of small, mixed media paintings, using a deck of playing cards as my canvas. Every day for 52 days, I randomly drew a card to be painted or collaged according to my mood on that particular day. This act of visual diarising combined with the symbolism of the playing cards expresses the lack of control I feel I have over my emotions. Arranged in a calendar-like grid of seven cards across, but exceeding the number of days in a single month, the work also expresses some of my frustrations in trying to manage my mood swings within the rules and restrictions of a society that still struggles to cater for the needs of the mentally ill. In addition, I completed two Jokers as “trump cards�, which depict some of the things that help soothe my mental anguish. I felt it was important to include these cards as I often experience suicidal thoughts, so it is essential to always remember that there are good things in life and the clouds do eventually pass. As a result, this work has acted as a form of both self-expression and art therapy. I also hope that it might provide some insight into the ups and downs of recovery, and perhaps spread a little more understanding to help tackle the stigma associated with mental illness.


The Nubian House

May Hassan

oil on canvas

I have created paintings that speak to me and I hope others, of the beauty of the Nubian houses in Aswan, Southern Egypt. As an Egyptian citizen where I lived for the first 23 years of my life I have been to that place a lot of times and they were best days of my life. I have chosen to paint these houses to breathe new life into otherwise forgotten places and to share their design features with a wider audience. I have used oil paint on canvas to capture the character and spirit of these beautiful Nubian houses and the vibrant colors and patterns on their facades. The place I have chosen to paint has for me such enjoyable nostalgia, memories, I hope that my painting can also arouse these positive responses in the viewer. I hope that my painting can capture the essence of the houses in the Nubian region and resonate with the viewer in a way that creates a connection between us.


Nadeena Dixon

A Woman’s Work Is Never Done

hessian, wire, wooden pegs, cotton, cotton cord, ochre, tea, feather, ceramic, paper, water colour, cotton string, coconut fibre string, glass, cork, metal pins, cotton twine, acrylic paint, marker pen A Woman’s Work Is Never Done is a dedication to generations of women in my Aboriginal family, acknowledging the women’s lives and sacrifice given through many years of servitude, hardship & toil, working class women had little choice of career other than the laborious work of Domestic service . My great grandmother and grandmother along with numerous aunties held the responsibility of the roles of washer women, cook and cleaner to earn a living as indentured servants to White Australia’s Wealthy homes and the endless work of keeping a house for their own families. The work aims to challenge the expected roles of women within Australian society to keep house, nurture, cook and clean, while giving up their own needs for that of their families. A woman’s work is never done is a visual response to convey my rage and internal rejection of the female identity as a free source of thankless invisible domestic labour. My rage is contained within the layers of torn sheets, remembering the heavy wet sheets that my uneducated grandmother boiled and bleached to pure Christian whiteness on washday in the old copper boiler, steaming and dangerous as she fed them into the wringer like a medieval torture devise. Her hands in constant danger of being crushed as she fed the sheets through the metal rollers to be wrung dry. The series of knots represent being tied to a life of drudgery and hardship day in and day out. Daily life becomes a mind numbing repetition of sameness, a constant throb of nothing to look forward to, except hard work with only the promise of tea to soothe the soul.


Timelines VI (detail)

Rhonda Nelson

linocut and etching on hand-made paper Disintegration is fascinating. Look closely and some fundamental patterns emerge, regardless of the timeframe or whether the object is natural or manmade. Cracks appear, they are irregular and angular at first, reflecting stress and tension. Over time they soften and become more complex. When making these works I’ve been thinking about all things having a life cycle. Formation, break down and re-emergence in a new reform. I’ve made paper for the Timelines series which embodies this, having been pulped from cast-offs then re-formed. The rough edges and textures bear the traces of its past and of the re-forming process. The works have been made using print making techniques but each one is unique. Printmaking processes incorporate the cycle of breakdown and re-emergence. Etching, for example, involving a metal plate being immersed in acid or lino being eaten away by a caustic solution, harnesses the chemistry of disintegration. Rust colours predominate in Timelines. In some pieces rusted paper is incorporated into the paper itself or into the prints. In others the paper has been molded around rusted objects which emboss and colour it. Timelines explores and honours the patterns and colours of aging and disintegration the imperfect and the impermanent – the ‘badges’ of existence.


Relationships

www.instagram.com/sashajoymishkin

Sasha Mishkin

archival inkjet print

Relationships is a photographic series portraying groupings of people in Sydney’s polyamorous scene. What I have displayed for the Surface exhibition is part of this on-going body of work. By focusing my lens on a kind of love that breaks from the monogamous mould, I reach for an expanded visual language around relationships. A visual language that departs from the archetypal image of one man and one woman together till death. People who engage in polyamory have relationships with more than one person at a time, with all partners consenting to the arrangement. This practice of non-monogamy, though widely seen as taboo, is cropping up more publicly in radio, television, and alternative youth culture. I have photographed participants at home with their lovers. I use their domestic space as I would a studio set, selectively creating backgrounds from their furniture and wall dÊcor. In this way I attempt to communicate about intimacy in a visual language that is familiar to the viewer, yet with a critical point of difference. I aim to portray versions of intimacy that are distinct, unapologetic, and simultaneously recognisable.


Diverse Identities clay, slip and glaze

seanjacksonpottery@gmail.com www.facebook.com/sereneceramicsau

Sean Jackson

Through a single form many identities have opportunities to arise. This can either present itself as a destructive nature or encompass harmonious unity which may bloom into fruition. Our placement within a modern technologically structured society enforces pressure on the methodologies of the past to evolve. Every individual holds massive possibility to produce a positive outcome and from this ignites unique qualities of self. Hence, we all have the ability to attain different qualities. Due to varying attributes we may have a spectrum of views of our placement within society. By overcoming the negative portrayal of the past we are able to enforce the positive aspects of a peaceful and unified world welcoming diversity of race, culture and faith. Developing technologies bring in new eras and often dismiss ways of the old. Generation after generation, forgetting origins, one often loses their original connection to the world around them. This body of work aims to analyze that original connection. Merging new technologies with techniques of the past a restoration of process is achieved. Combining 3D printing, press-molding, hand-building and chemistry analysis along with glaze research and specialized firing techniques using raw flame in an oxygen reduced chamber produces such a variety of possibilities, which are able to emerge in a new light. This hybrid crafting enables a revival and continuance of significant cultural practices.


Surrender

resin, found object (frame)

www.instagram.com/sculpt_to_life

Shirin Farsad

We often find ourselves searching for answers; seeking ways to understand the world that we are enrapt within. Seeming randomness, confusion and moments that leave us desiring closure lead us to search for ways of filling this void. Hafez, a Persian poet from the 14th century, provides us with an insight that can fulfil and relieve the stress that is created through not knowing. His intuitive wisdom provided people from the 14th century onwards with guidance that soothed people’s existential woes. It is here that the ancient symbols within Persian miniature paintings comes to life through threedimensional figures. The surreal sculptures entail mythological interpretations and reflections on the poems of Hafez. The sculpture’s pose is a representation of spirituality seeking the insights of life. She calls for enlightenment, knowledge and a means to calm her soul. The mirror between the figures represents a way of reflecting upon herself. Created with surreal elements, the feathers are embodied as a part of her. They speak of a free spirit that has surrendered to the all knowing, Hafez. Fine detail and miniature style paintings are incorporated on to the figures to echo the miniature tradition. The figures heal the confusion, randomness and moments that lack clarity and push one to surrender and trust. The deep spiritual questions that we seek in life tend to find themselves wound within the metaphysical; the world that holds truths beyond that which our lives reveal.


Nocturne

sdavies@bigpond.net.au

Sinead Davies

oil on canvas

NOCTURNE (the urban landscape in winter) The multitude of artificial colours come in all shapes and forms and light up the urban environment against a backdrop of black winter sky. The headlights from moving cars create a sense of shadow theatre constantly shifting the light. People are seen as dark shapes moving or still waiting for traffic lights to change. There is a sense of the carnival in all of this, without music, fan fare or celebration. In this series of small paintings I have endeavoured to create a visual commentary, a small insight into our modern urban life. As one of the crowd, I became the recorder of a few moments in time, un-noticed in my pursuit of information gathering, pictorial references and visual stimuli. Capturing moments in stranger’s lives, seen as silhouettes against the night, they gave meaning to the urban night scene and provided a narrative, a sense of place, of architectural scale, urban pace and of meaningful human relationships and that of successful urban integration. Artificial light has brought us many things, particularly the expansion of human activity to proceed into the night and the early hours of the morning, promoting human progress. We have come a long way from the discovery of fire, torchlight, candlelight and lamplight. Creating this small body of observational work has triggered a greater interest in the subject, it has created a platform from which I hope to develop further work.


Mothers

www.instagram.com/sorayaaaa_n

Soraya Nematollahi

mixed media

These ceramics sculptures represent women’s bodies and are a symbol of the strength and vulnerability that coexists within them. I am inspired and moved by the stories of pregnant women fleeing Syria and recognise in them the strength needed to escape a difficult situation when their bodies are in a state that needs protection and nurturing. My sculptures explore the psychological experience of these women who are forced to leave their homelands and seek asylum while carrying another life within them. A state where their bodies are soft but their reality is hard. These dual qualities of hard and soft are reflected in my use of materials for this work. Glazed terracotta clay begins as a soft material that when fired becomes hard in much the same way that these women are transformed by their journeys to new lands. The forms are influenced by ancient fertility goddess statues many of which are from the region of the Middle East from where these women are fleeing.


Inundate

Tiantong Ge

wood timber, putty, paint, epoxy, ink, plastic, screws This sculpture encourages people to look underneath the surface for truth. The inspiration comes from the Tianjin Explosion in 2015 when a chemical storage company caught fire then exploded. The Explosion has left a disastrous impact on the land and people’s hearts. It is a dark tragedy. However, after the tragedy, a recovery plan to build a park was made. A bright plan was used to cover the darkness of this accident. The first part of the sculpture- a black monument with white liquid - is used to illuminate the darkness. However, as the recovery plan was undertaken, many truths remained hidden and never got exposed. That is the second part of the sculpture. In the white monument, darkness still comes up and cannot be neglected. I took the form of Yin-yang, the black contains the white dot as well as the white contains the black dot, yet black and white still separate.


Nuance

Xiang Meng

digital inkjet print Nuance is a long-term individual photography project designed to shoot real scenes or spaces which are then transformed abstract geometry images, these photographs are similar to paintings and blur the concept of time and space as well as that of reality and representation. They give the viewer the peculiar experience trying to imagine and recognize the reality that the photographs depict. In this work, most of the photos are taken at galleries, and exhibition spaces, with these spaces I am interest in the corners and areas neglected by people and see them as equally important to my experience of them. I have used the geometric figure which is considered the foundation of nature, and in this world of human made spaces and technology it feels significant to extract, these shapes and angles to provide new perspectives and ways of observation.


UNSW ART & DESIGN MASTER OF ART CONSOLIDATED STUDIO SEMESTER 2, 2017 www.artdesign.unsw.edu.au www.instagram.com/surface_exhibition www.facebook.com/surfaceexhibitiongaffa ISBN: 978-0-7334-3775-5

Profile for Michelle Cawthorn

SURFACE  

Exhibition catalogue, Consolidated Studio, Semester 2, 2017

SURFACE  

Exhibition catalogue, Consolidated Studio, Semester 2, 2017

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