Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Fiona Halls Scar Tissue 2005, through the use of video tape for sculpture, challenges the viewer to reconsider old materials as a new medium. The method of hand knitting, as well as the use of video tape to create the suspended objects, are not considered typical for sculpture and questions the audience as to what is thought of as art. In this artwork, it seems Hall seeks to make a statement about the horrific effects of war, which she heightens through the juxtaposition of body parts to childrens characters and toys. The choice of materials and the way they are used adds conviction to her argument, such as the use of a cross shaped glass container possibly representing mortality, and the use of cassette tape to create a link between television and the objects presented.

The method of production and choice of materials, is what makes Rosalie Gascoignes work so impressive and memorable. For Gascoigne, art is not about the artwork dictating the material, but the material informing the artwork. Gascoigne practices what she calls the 'art of looking', whereby the materials used in her artworks are found on rambles through the countryside. These objects vary, and may be weathered wood, parts of fences, or old packaging boxes, but all share the effects of the 'wind and the rain and the sun' in them. It is the effects of nature that give her artworks such texture, an example of which is found in her artwork Untitled, (white cloud). The decaying and weathering effects of the open country on her materials can be seen in the weathered wood, reminiscent of open paddocks and grassland, and the torn masonite depicting a low lying cloud.

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