The Great Divide

Featuring the work Red hat recon*.
Group exhibition, Artisan Gallery, Fortitude Valley, Queensland, 2008.

Acrylic paint on carpet tiles, MDF, hand cut vinyl. Site specific work, dimensions variable.

Installation view and detail

Photography by Rod Buchholz.

Artist statement

Created in 1996, the original work was based upon a painted and woven hat collected by a great Aunt on a 1960's trip north. This very early work reveals the interests that have formed my art practice: pattern, colour, objects of personal & cultural significance and a translation of scale, function and materials.

The making of art is a process that allows reflection on the world, to find interesting linkages and connections and to attempt to make sense of the unfathomable. In this new work, Red hat recon* I have reconsidered or recontextualised the earlier work, overlaying elements of visual systems; formal Islamic patterning, diverse influences on the imagery found in Javanese Batiks and the equally codified markings of communication systems and airport runways.

The work seeks to engage the viewer by presenting tensions: between order and randomness, and the very different surface qualities of the materials. This melding could also be read as the ‘handcrafted’ traditionally significant object in relation to the encroachment of globalism. Material culture manipulated to be either a marker of identity or a commodity?

Twelve years on the work is still about trying to make sense of and engage with cultures other than my own in an intelligent and respectful manner.