Roughing Out – Alex Seton
In this exhibition Alex, known for his marble sculpting, is exploring the process of carving, what is considered to be a completely finished object and the endless loop of production, reiteration and transformation.
The picture above, entitled Half, shows a large piece of Statuario marble – nicknamed ‘milk’ – that has a fault running through it. A half filled glass of milk has been carved from one side with the milk container from the other. The refuse generated from this work has been used to fill more than 300 surrounding glasses. Another exhibit, Half Full, shows a row of glasses with a block of carved marble sitting in the top half of each which creates the illusion of milk levitating. Very effective.
In his work Recycle Bags two large waste sacks sit side by side and I noticed people glancing and walking straight past. They obviously didn’t realise (and hadn’t read the artist statement) that one canvas sack was filled with the rubble created whilst carving the marble replica sack.
His video, The Alchemic Cycle, plays on a continuous loop of around 8 1/2 minutes and is quite fascinating. It shows the destruction and reconstitution of a block of marble, over and over. I spoke with the video maker, Louis Pratt, and conceded that I was totally unable to detect the loop seam, which delighted him.
The event has other engaging pieces including some performance art by Seton with the work The Recursive Time Machine where he guides a stylus over a resin hand as a pantograph mechanically carves a miniature analogue version in marble. I’m guessing that by the end of the exhibition, around 6 weeks time, the hand will be fully carved.
Hiromi Hotel Moon Jellies – Hiromi Tango
This is a site specific conceptual Art Hotel commissioned by Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre. There are five hotel rooms and a reception area. The intricate, soft sculpture installations are made collaboratively from familiar, everyday materials which are often donated. These threads, yarns, fabrics and other memorabilia are then woven together into huge cascading sculptures. Careful colour coding and placement along with light and reflection techniques create a stimulating sensory experience.
Hiromi is well-known for her Art hotels and in this case she is responding to our region’s connection with the beaches and the ocean. She explores the mysterious therapeutic power of art engagement using the ocean ecosystem as a metaphor for the brain. This event has generated a huge amount of community involvement.
Hiromi invited two local artists as special guests to create their own rooms, both are health care professionals who share an interest in art engagement, memory and brain development.
Rita is an amazing person. I’ve known her for close to 10 years now and am constantly surprised by her knowledge and dedication to her profession. As a registered nurse in aged care and rehabilitation she became interested in the brain and its amazing capacity for recovery many years ago. Grey Matters uses a tidal pool to demonstrate the way a person with dementia copes when they find themselves in an unfamiliar world. The ‘brain rocks’ represent the grey matter in the brain whilst the soft vegetation and colourful corals show that even in the harshest of circumstances beauty can be found. This exhibit was formed specifically to allow wheelchair and disabled access.
I have also known Pat for some years but am not as actively engaged with her. Past art works she has produced have been both innovative and exciting and this is no exception.
As a hospital scientist Pat has a continuing interest in psychology and healing therapies. My Brain is a River uses interactions between art, science and psychology to explore the protective structures of the brain, it’s resilience and ability to heal when damaged.
For weeks running up to this exhibition free workshops were held where everyone was invited to participate in creating something to add to the structures. Many attended, from the very young to the elderly, and there is a work space set up within the art space for continuing involvement and creation of pieces so the Hotel expands and evolves.
Two workshops were held in the aged care facility where Rita works and the residents were found to be enthralled with the whole process. As a result of this, the facility has decided to run similar events for the benefit of all – the staff were also heavily involved and enthusiastic – and a new spark of interest has been discovered in many of the long-term residents with dementia.
A win-win for all and a huge learning experience for everyone. If you are within travelling distance of Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre in Sutherland Shire, NSW, I strongly recommend visiting this unique Art Hotel. Exhibition runs until 13th October 2013.
Oh ……… and you can TOUCH everything, in fact you are encouraged to do so.
Photograph above and publication with permission from the parents.
Some wording taken from artists statements at the exhibitions.