Posts Tagged ‘Carolyn Crossley


Caring for Aehee @ Cowwarr Art Space

Aehee - Self-Portrait  from "Caring for Aehee" series(cont.) Friday, 11 February 2010

Dear Diary,

As mentioned previously, the Cowwarr Art Space also includes a number of self-contained artists’ studios and cottages, which over the recent years have attracted interdisciplinary artists from around Australia and overseas. One of the latest artists-in-residence was Aehee, a young photographic, conceptual, and video artist from Korea. One of her works, a video collage from the series Caring for Aehee, is currently projected in the exhibition space.

Caring for Aehee is an ongoing project where the artist moulds herself to wishes, ideas, and directions of others. She spent a year being ‘cared for’ as a house pet, and another year as a model. The current projection is the extension of the latter body of work. If preceding video projections and stills documented Aehee being dressed, made up, directed, and posed by others, this video turns attention away from the model and concentrates on the photographer. The work collages the videos of professional and amateur photographers (including myself) directing Aehee as she poses for the camera.

Aehee - as directed and photographed by me in "Caring for Aehee" projectOne of the most revealing and unexpected aspects of the video is how similar were our directives to Aehee – notwithstanding our level of professionalism (or lack thereof), age, gender, or cultural background. There are consecutive sequences, which show photographers asking Aehee to smile; to take two steps back; to raise her hands; to lean this way or that. Another sequence records the exclamations of self-satisfied delights with our own work – as well as with Aehee’s ability to follow our directions; words like wonderful, perfect, great, etc., are repeated ad infinitum in a whole spectrum of voices and accents. The video collage is an interesting study in the nature of human identity and – despite the obvious differences – preconditioned societal similarities among us, as if there are only that many ways in which one can (or knows how to) direct a model.

The work made me think of Kristin Headlam’s series of “bridal paintings”, where the focus was not so much on the bride or the groom, but on the photographer, and the interactions between wedding photographers and wedding parties. In the similar vein, Aehee’s innovative work concentrates not on the model but on the photographer, objectifying the objectifier.

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]


Clive Murray-White @ Cowwarr Art Space

Cowwarr Art Space, GippslandFriday, 11 February 2010

Dear Diary,

This weekend I have found a refuge in Cowwarr, home to the sculptor Clive Murray-White, and his partner, the gallery director and art entrepreneur Carolyn Crossley. The imposing 1920s butter factory was cleverly converted into a dwelling, a gallery, and a set of self-contained artists’ studios. Murray-White’s own studio – a small industrial shed – is located just across the courtyard from the gallery, which provides a perfect showroom for his many pieces.

Clive Murray-White - Senator - Installation ViewI have been familiar with Murray-White’s work for a number of years. He is one of the very few practitioners of figurative sculpture in Australia working in marble. Peter Schippernheyn is another. Vince Vozzo, though in a much more stylised, decorative vein, is the third.

The current body of work was formulated in the 1990s, when Murray-White set himself an ambitious and grandiose project to create nothing short of a new iconography for the Gods of the Southern Cross. He invented their names and their characters, gave them stories, and with his chisel materialised them exclusively from Australian marble.

Clive loves working with the stone. He respects the originality and the ancienty of the prehistoric monolith, its unique nature and character.  He skilfully incorporates its cracks, inclusions, and colour variations in his works. Each sculpture displays his ability to manipulate the marble’s surface – from highly polished and shiny to smooth and opaque; from roughly hewn to untouched, preserving the original design of nature.

Clive Murray-White - Recent SculptureIn his early sculptures, the faces of his gods emerged only partially. Their appearance was imbued with the mystery of excavated pieces of ancient Greek or Roman sculptures. Sometime only a cheek-bone, an eye socket, a forehead were distinguishable in his pieces; fragments of faces featured broken-off noses and disfigured chins. Over the years – and especially since the Felton Commission of 2004 – his faces have emerged more fully from the stone. From mere hints of a human visage, they are now fully recognisable faces. From highly abstracted likenesses, Murray-White’s sculptures are becoming more and more highly detailed and well-characterised portraits of people around him.

The artist must progress in his work. If he does not, his work stagnates. Throughout his career, Clive tried his hand in a variety of media, including wood, metal, and even smoke formations. The ‘romancing’ of the stone is yet another incarnation of his ever-searching artistic spirit. The progress from fragmented abstraction to a greater definition of physiognomic features in his sculpture is a part of the artist’s journey. One wonders if with the attainment of a greater naturalness in his sculpture came at the expense of the erstwhile sense of mystery. … (to be continued)

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]

Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

August 2020


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