A Very Public Affair

A Very Public Affair

Made specifically for the National Sculpture Prize Exhibition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Catalogue statement:
The Hidden Dimensions of Seduction

‘A Very Public Affair’ is my latest variation in ‘honey-comb’ paper objects, which have been the focus of my investigation for the past two years.

In the elaboration of this series, I have followed a fascination with the seductive quality inherent in collapsible sculptural forms and have been experimenting with different sets of decorative elements. With the ‘Lustgarten’ exhibition, achieved during my one-year residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, I perfected the ‘honey-comb’ technique, pushing its limits in size and weight to construct whimsical yet disturbing and intimidating environments.

In two of my recent solo exhibitions, ‘Heart-On’ and ‘Outback Heat’, I combined paper sculptures with ready made objects, in these instances semi-erotic‚ ‘girlie’ beach towels and text borrowed from Mills and Boons romantic novels which were embroidered onto the towels. The works joined ephemeral, cheap, vulgar and garish elements into a referential ensemble where each component consolidated the others’ position to create an associative frame where the viewer was confronted with formal stereotypes on eroticism.

The present work entitled ‘A Very Public Affair’ consists of a ceiling-to-floor compilation, a physically complex structure designed to both seduce and unnerve the viewer through its peculiar spatial positioning. While at first glance the piece presents a highly controlled architecture, its formal contradictions foreground a disturbing, hidden dimension. The predominant use of black, for instance, constitutes a specific attempt to subvert the festive associations generally attached to party decorations, by implanting an unsuspected emotive and reflective level into the reading of the object.

The title of this work is of equal importance, as it reflects the current direction of my practice – that of the seductive nature found in borrowed words and imagery, which I aim to transpose into the sculptural realm.

A Very Public Affair was included in the group exhibitions, Cut-Out, at Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand in 2004 and Mix Tape, Art Gallery of Western Australia, 2005.
A Very Public Affair is owned by the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

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