THE FLESH OF ALL THINGS 2021
Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University grad show installation. The space was painted in a glowing hue with an eclectic range of artworks ‘emitting’ their stories from a combination of both abstract and explicit forms. It was titled The Flesh of All Things as a nod to Merleau-Ponty’s ideas of spatial, physiological, and energetic perceiving. There is far more than meets the eye in the interconnected relationships of subject/object: the mechanics of eyes that operate in a way to see, the light that reveals things, the pre-loaded conditioning of the viewer, distances and the air molecule-filled shapes of negative space, properties of matter, manipulative energies of a creator, feelings and memories that form, linger and are carried into new contexts – an infinitesimal exchange.
Each of these works is a world unto itself awaiting expansion: a pile of bronze rubble carries a story of fragility - the negative shapes of a hug between the artist and her daughter in a pandemic era that threatens the extinction of the warm embrace; clean white paper is stripped, torn and lit from behind revealing textural tranquility; a female form made of ever-soft modelling clay wears each finger mark that pushed her as far backwards as she could go without falling; a sweet pile of ruby-red Ashoka Dharmachakra candies tempts us with easy answers and the promise of inner peace; a 1950's purse-full of middle finger candles points to the 'bare essentials' of women trapped in the patriarchy; and a humble rag, the waste product of creative pursuits, shows what a difference context can make.
The show was cancelled at the last minute due to Covid lockdown restrictions, but was resurrected the following year by a fifteen enterprising students who took it upon themselves to get 'seen'. Visit the group exhibition titled Unseen here.