Wood, printed paper, PVA, shellac, acrylic paint
During this temporary intervention, visitors to Herring Island discovered slim wooden poles standing in locations dotted across the island – amongst trees, on the path, in a picnic area, inside the gallery building itself, and unexpectedly, within another artist’s installation. In fact, the poles were meticulously located according to positions previously plotted on a site map. From a distance the poles suggested surveyors’ poles. Closer inspection revealed bands of colour alternating with collaged book pages. The pages recounted stories of world travellers and explorers over the last two millennia. A brief journey round a small island thus shadowed more challenging journeys to far flung corners of the world in times gone by.
Exhibited at Herring Island Sculpture Park, South Yarra, March 2000
Curated by Maudie Palmer
Collection of the artist
Plastic tubes, steel pins, printed paper
Dimensions variable (3 cabinets, overall 270 x 575 x 50 cm)
I cut the complete score of Wagner’s Lohengrin into strips and then reconfigured them in three glass-fronted cabinets, one for each act of the opera. The paper strips issue from short lengths of curved black tube fixed to the wall then gather like wood shavings on the floor of the cabinet. The five rows of tubing echo the staves in a musical score and the short lengths of black tube are reminiscent of musical notation. The mechanical order of the base grid transmutes into something organic and lyrical.
Greek Myth II
Corrugated cardboard, book pages, PVA and hot glue
240 x 580 cm
Greek Myth II is based on a sketch I made of a bas-relief frieze I found in the Staatliche Museum, Berlin. The frieze once graced the Great Altar of the Acropolis in the ancient city of Pergamum. The Hellenistic figures writhing across the marble surface enact with palpable vigour a mythic battle between the gods and the giants.
In the studio I reconstructed a section of the frieze as a full-scale ‘drawing’ using strips of corrugated cardboard laminated with pages from Robert Grave’s academic treatise, The White Goddess: an historical grammar of poetic myth. At the time of making this work, I was deeply concerned by the removal of classical studies from university curricula.
The overall effect of the finished work is energetic, fragmented, and almost cacophonic. The tangle of chaotic lines gradually coalesce into a recognisable order. For the viewer it is a choreographic experience. The small scale text is only legible up close while the large scale figures are only discernible from a distance.
First exhibited: Union House, University of Melbourne, February to June 1999
Collection: FB Rice & Co, Sydney