Monday, January 5, 2009

If you get a chance...

There is a Rosalie Gascoigne retrospective on currently at the NGV. I went yesterday, knowing little about the artist or her work. After a moment of perplexity I was swept away.

Her work is incredibly meditative - 'Natural assemblages' that use materials found on scavenging expeditions such as scrap iron, wood, wire and feathers, faded drinks crates, yellow Schweppes boxes and worn out domestic items such as torn floral lino, patchy enamelware and old dolls. The objects are assembled to evoke experiences of the landscape in which they are found.

I delighted in finding my own interpretation of pieces were often reflected in their titles, which I deliberately left to reading until after viewing each work.

The Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery website has many images of her work and in a press release for a previous exhibition quote Martin Gascoigne as saying “Rosalie Gascoigne used to say, “Art doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from a long line of human experience, and I like to think that I can pare things down to conform with a sort of classicism.” She does this so beautifully.

Rosalie Gascoigne is showing at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
until 15 March.

An aside...

I am often tempted to purchase the catalogue of an exhibition I enjoy, as a reminder of the experience more than a desire to own reproductions. I chose not to on this occasion as I felt the reproductions didn’t adequately capture the mood of the works. The contrast in the catalogue images seemed too harsh and what I love about Gascoigne’s art is the subtlety and muted nature of the worn materials.

I have a similar issue when correcting my own poorly taken photographs. (My excuse this time is the perfectly understandable 'no flash policy' at the gallery!) The auto correct button is an easy option but it usually makes the image ‘hyper-real’. Perhaps it removes the effects of atmosphere that would naturally influence our vision. I like things a little blurry, soft around the edges. I guess it’s the romantic in me.

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