Canvas :: Hyperclay
October 25th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Most of us left clay modelling behind with those odd little shapes we made in playtime during our preschool days. But for the artists involved in Objects Gallery’s latest exhibition, Hyperclay, it’s apparently all about moulding, sculpting and adapting to create something extraordinarily far reaching.
Featuring a credible line up of home grown talent, the exhibition is as eclectic in theme as it is in treatment of clay. The exhibition’s hero piece would have to be Paul Wood’s 'Guardians of a Goddess', a sculptural work using discarded ceramic objects that have been refired in the kiln to give birth to a new thing with new meaning. Kitsch in nature with an ethereal aura, we see two garden tigers watching over a Grecian goddess style water feature – reminiscent of what we’d see in decked-out front lawn surburbia.
Jacqueline Clayton’s 'Rilke and the Autoclave' is equally intriguing. Clayton’s unique stylistic agenda of moulding face powder, modified porcelain and laboratory glass makes for as interesting an artistic process as her final work. Incredibly ornate floral sculptures that could easily fit in the palm of our hands adorn an antique sterilizer cabinet and hark into issues of female identity and notions of the ideal.
Stephen Bird’s patterned animation which is projected onto blank ceramic plates deserves honourable mention for its subtle exploration of the performance of making as does his screen animation, 'What Are You Looking At', which depicts the myth of creation in stop frame.
The exhibition is traverses the media spectrum; you can kick back with an iPad and watch exclusive artist interviews and process reports alongside, or read commentary from art historians and critics. Object has really elevated clay to another level. As a versatile and energetic exhibition showcasing the work of eight contemporary Australian artists, Hyperclay presents us with work that is fresh and experimental.
Hyperclay is currently showing at Object Gallery in Surry Hills and runs until the January 8 2012.