Do you love Fiona Hall’s work?
If you answered yes and yes, you might like to drop by Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you answered half of one yes, and you’ve not heard of Fiona, you might still want to check out the starkly beautiful Manuhiri (Travellers).
I find this installation
a mysterious mix of mournful and celebratory, creation and destruction.
Fiona is one of my all time favourite Australian artists.
She never disappoints. She fashions witty, delicate, meaningful sculptures from unthinkably non-arty materials – US dollar bills or knitted videotapes or military uniforms. And sardine cans. It was the 1980s sardine can series that hooked me in the first place. She fuses botanical forms with human anatomy and Aboriginal language in a delicate display of the Garden of Eden.
She is so damn clever.
Do you see the animal forms?
Please join me in saying Yay, Fiona, you are an inspiration.
Fiona’s artist statement:
I COLLECTED THE DRIFTWOOD FROM THE BEACH AT AWANUI ON AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND’S NORTH EAST CAPE, WHERE THE WAIAPU RIVER FLOWS OUT TO THE SEA.
STORMS AND LANDSLIPS BRING FALLEN TREES DOWN FROM THE FORESTS UPSTREAM; YEARS OF INTENSIVE FARMING HAVE CAUSED LARGE-SCALE EROSION THAT IS NOW SILTING UP AND RESHAPING THE RIVER AT ITS MOUTH.
WHEN THE WAIAPU (WHICH MEANS RUSHING WATER) FINALLY REACHES THE SEA ITS CARGO OF FALLEN TIMBER IS THROWN BACK ONTO THE BEACH BY THE TIDE, PILED UP LIKE BONES FROM A FOREST GRAVEYARD. SCATTERED AMONG THEM YOU CAN FIND THE CREATURES OF THE WOODS AND WATER, TRAVELLERS FROM A FORMER FOREST LIFE, RESHAPED BY THE OCEAN CURRENTS AND NOW JOURNEYING TO ANOTHER LIFE BACK IN THE WORLD OF THE LIVING.
Here’s a link to her Manuhiri piece and
a link to a blurb about her seriously major Wrong Way Time exhibit for Venice Biennale.
with love, art and soul from Sally