Viewing art is a very personal experience, if you will let it be so. But like many vessels of beauty or truth, there is no Reader’s Digest version. Without spending time with the work, you might walk gaily through an Exhibition, muttering to yourself “I don’t get it,” because you simply didn’t give the art an opportunity to give “it” to you. Mag and I spent nearly three hours at Cottesloe Beach's Sculpture by the Sea last Friday morning. The experience I had was profound. What a gift art is, if we will receive it as such.
Sometimes it's easy to make quick judgements or dismissals of work. I know I did the other day when I viewed "dump", a life-size yellow truck made out of $8,000 dollars worth of children's foam play mats. I was so arrogant I chose NOT to take a direct shot of it. "They call that Art" I said to myself.
But later, thinking about the yellow dump truck, it did make sense. Western Australia, unlike much of the rest of the world, is going through boom times due to the mining interests up in the northern territories. And yes, Perth being the major city in WA is benefiting from the money flowing in from China.
Bruce Radke (NSW) "overture"
This is one of my favorites. I love the shapes, the color, and the position of the pieces.
Wang Shugang (China) "meeting"
Wendy Holowko (VIC) "tricky traps"
Helen Selver (WA) "nest"
Interesting sculpture constructed of found peppermint tree branches. One of the more affluent neighborhoods in Perth is called Peppermint Grove.
Ysabelle Fordin (France) "Project 8"
When we viewed this sculpture the six kite-like pieces were blowing in the wind. I thought immediately of the "Fremandle Doctor", the sea breeze that comes almost every afternoon off the Indian Ocean. I have no idea if she had this in mind. I just loved how with the wind they changed shape.
Wendy McGrath (QLD) "red shoes: surge"
These colorful red shoes followed a path over hill and dale. I am sure the artist had in mind China's upward economic mobility in today's world. One could also see a connection with the growth of Chinese immigration to Australia. But as I viewed the hundreds of red shoes, I immediately made a connection to a small book I read over ten years ago. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie had a pair of red shoes on the cover of the book. The story was set in China in 1971, the nameless narrator and his friend, Luo, are two of thousands of boys exiled to the harsh, remote countryside for “re-education” during Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. The boys later discover another boy's secret stash of banned Western literature, which opens up a whole new world to them.
Patricia Newman-Bruton (WA) "joy of nature in my garden"
Mother Earth was constructed of chicken wire, pods, seagrass and coconut husks and seeds; all naturel elements found in WA.
Lucy Vader (NSW) "oh my God" Self evident when you look at this view.
Mia Rappel (NSW) "many threads"
Seventeen balls of wool yarn hanging between two beach shelters.
Ron Gomboc (WA) "migrating spirits"
Tania Spencer (WA) "thought process".
This was one of my favorites. From our various senses we take in information but how we interpret that information is based on our past experiences.
Anne Walmley (WA) "arcady" woolen blanket
Beach sand wrapped in colorful woolen material speaks to the role of sheep raising as a major industry in WA.
Richard Hammer (WA) recycled bicycle wheels and aluminum sheeting. Once again, a connection one can see to Western Australia, one of the foremost producers of aluminum. Also a connection to "going green".
Ayad Alqaragholl (WA) "highness"
What does "highness" actually mean? Could it be life is a balancing act. That in order to reach our highest goals, we need to rely on team work?
Lou Lambert (WA) "red herring"
I really liked this piece....I thought it was a snail, something common in WA. I don't have a clue why the artist would name it "red herring".
Margarita Sampson (NSW) "the yearning".
These are suppose to be colorful sea slugs. I thought they were "pigface", a succulent flower found along the beaches of the southwest.
Robin Yakinthou (WA) "just another conversation"
With this piece I knew the title and I thought immediately about all the cell phoone "babble" I hear on trains, in stores, on the beach....everywhere.
Although I have no background in the visual arts, I do appreciate viewing modern, contemporary sculptures. I really have no idea whether my conclusions, which may be or may not be what the artist intended, because at this point, the artist isn't in the picture at all; its about the art itself and my experience with that art.