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breeze between the clouds

Concept image for my new work titled ‘Breeze’.

Concept image for my new work titled ‘Breeze’.

I’m presently creating a new sculptural installation using internally gilded, concrete cloud-form breeze blocks to interrogate through structure, form, light and shadow, the commingling of human and non-human narratives that occurs in our post-natural (the intentional and heritable alteration of nature by humans) contemporary urban reality.

Breeze blocks were an architectural feature commonly used in commercial and residential construction in the 1950s and 60s. Contemporary symbols of suburbia, they are a hallmark of the social and cultural expansion of post-war Victoria. Often used as decorative wall detailing, breeze blocks mark the division of spaces in places such as boundary walls, were gardens meet houses, as patio screens or carports. As a partially solid construction material, breeze blocks have a unique duality that emphasises solidity and permeability as well as division. This duality makes breeze blocks an ideal material to interrogate the commingling of human and non-human narratives.

The idea for the sculpture is play with perspective; as viewers approaches the work, they will see a solid concrete screen. As they move closer and away from the work, their perspective relative to the sculpture will change to reveal and obscure the highly reflective gold internal structure, patterned forms and sections of the landscape visible through the work. More on this work to come.

urban reality

Concrete is dense, vast and ubiquitous. The material has historically been used in many ways and has such a loaded and varied vocabulary that allows it to be transformed in many ways. I’m currently working with concrete breeze blocks to interrogate through structure, form, light and shadow, the commingling of human and non-human narratives that occurs in our post-natural (the intentional and heritable alteration of nature by humans) contemporary urban reality.

Breeze blocks were an architectural feature commonly used in commercial and residential construction in the 1950s and 60s. Contemporary symbols of suburbia, they are a hallmark of the social and cultural expansion of post-war Victoria. Often used as decorative wall detailing, breeze blocks mark the division of spaces in places such as internal and external boundary walls, as patio screens and carports. As a partially solid construction material, breeze blocks have a unique duality that emphasises solidity and permeability as well as division. This duality makes breeze blocks an ideal material to interrogate the commingling of human and non-human narratives.

This week I also saw the announcement of CONCRETE: art design architecture, an exhibition at JamFactory, Adelaide that looks at the material and conceptual poeticism of the material. I’m very much looking forward to seeing this exhibition. More info at the JamFactory website https://www.jamfactory.com.au/.

Durbach Block Jaggers, Tamarama House, 2015. Photo: Tom Ferguson. Via  Art Guide Australia .

Durbach Block Jaggers, Tamarama House, 2015. Photo: Tom Ferguson. Via Art Guide Australia.

ambient structures

Helen Pashgian, Untitled, 1968-1969, cast polyester resin.

Helen Pashgian, Untitled, 1968-1969, cast polyester resin.

Helen Pashgian’s dreamy, highly-polished spherical sculptural works exemplify the exactitude and complexity of form common amongst Light and Space artists. Objects of complete fantasy, Pashgian’s sculptures use the qualities of light to obscure and mask the object’s material boundaries in order to reveal murky and internal structures that appear as physical manifestations of ambient and sometimes broken light.

I’ve incorporated many of Pashgian’s principles of ambient light into a work that I’m currently producing for an exhibition presented in collaboration with artist and researcher Jessye Wdowin-McGregor at Rubicon Ari in Melbourne next month (March 2019) titled ‘nature', post-nature’. ‘nature, post nature’ explores the idea of the post -natural landscape, in which plants, animals and natural phenomena reclaim a position within environments where ecological systems have been disrupted by human activity. These can be mundane spaces: in between factories at the edges of cities, under freeways and bordering railways unlikely urban landscapes in which the natural world persists against the odds.

Yet to be titled, the aim of my sculptural installation is to use structure to create devices for observing the post-natural and create situations in which one can experience the post-natural as a phenomenon that contain beauty and softness. The post-natural is not inherently evil or sinister as it is often characterised.