Monday, March 23, 2009

Artists' materials and production

Rosalie Gascoigne, Banner 1

Banner 1 is composed of all vertical pieces of yellow street signs and contrasting blue slats. According to the article Landscape of Shards by Felicity Fenner, the form and arrangements of Gascoigne’s works were determined, largely, by her materials. As Fenner notes:

“The found objects which are the primary components of [Gasgoigne’s] work are typically cut or broken into smaller pieces, but beyond that they are rarely altered. They range from used wooden planks or slats, reflective road signs, sheets of corrugated iron and linoleum floor tiles,” [1]

While unable to find anything specific on this partic
ular piece it, undoubtedly, falls into the same category with her other work as being ‘found art’. Gascoigne would drive to rubbish tips and paddocks to find her materials. She was careful that no meaning be derived from the way she composed the letters and words of her street signs in her pieces; instead Gascoigne was more interested in the visual appeal of the lettering and typography. [2]

Fiona Hall, Nelumbo nucifera; nelum (Sinhala); thamareri (Tamil); lotus, 1999

This work is part of Fiona Hall’s collection Paradisus Terrestris in which Hall manipulated sardine tins into “gleefully immodest displays of sexual pleasure.” The piece is made out of aluminum and steel. This collection had three incarnations; the 1999 re-workings (of which this piece is a part) included both plants indigenous to Australia and Sri Lanka so as to emphasize the theme of “cultural exchange, including trade in commodities,”. [3]  The collection addresses the idea of paradise:

“Within each half-opened can sits a naked human body part, while plant life sprouts above. Beneath these top two laters, Hall adds language. The three systems make us consider what we share with plants.” [4]

According to Stephanie Raddock in the article Trade [The artwork of Fiona Hall] the plant forms of this collection use only the surface area of metal in the sardine tin and there are no joins.  [5]

[1] Fenner, Felicity. 1999. Landscape of shards. Art in America 87 (2): 88.

[2] Fink, Hannah. 1997. That sidling sight: wondering about the art of Rosalie Gascoigne. Art and Australia 35 (2): 200-208.

[3] Davidson, Kate. 2005. The art of Fiona Hall. Art and Australia 43 (1): 14-15.

[4] 2008. Fiona Hall. Australian Government: Culture and Recreation Portal. (accessed March 23, 2009)

[5] Raddock, Stephanie. 2001. Trade [The artwork of Fiona Hall]. Artlink 21 (4): 48-53.

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