Vol 17 no 4, 1997
Guest editor Stephanie Radok. A diverse, challenging collection of articles which examines the issues confronting the newest category of funding - the emerging artist. Are the needs of emerging artists so different from those of other artists?
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The curators of Gallery Go Go have a background in conceptual and installation art and provide input from these areas into the exhibitions that they stage. Subsist by Zoe Sweeney is the first show at Gallery Go Go to be an installation made by one of the curators. Sweeney dubs the installation "a cosseted environment". The Oxford English dictionary defines "cosset":
"cosset. (bpsit), v. [ f. precec.sb. In literary use, chiefly of the 19th C. ] Trans. to treat as a cosset, to fondle, caress, pet, indulge, pamper."
The installation refers to the notion of cosseting in a number of ways.
Overall it consists of images related to landscape and environment. Sweeney has used soil across the entire surface of the floor to create shapes which have the appearance of crop circles or symbols of fertility. The first impression that viewers may have when they enter the space is that they are looking over a field of crops.
Sweeney has constructed this installation with the intention of including all those who come to see it. The images that led up to Subsist stemmed from personal experiences and feelings she encountered whilst moving from one country to another. To help people understand the installation in its context she reduced these images to objects or markings that are commonly recognised by people in Western cultures as signifiers for meaning. She then abstracted these signifiers by adding an extra layer of her own subjective interpretation of these ideas. The dark soil against the starkness of the floor has a similar look to the bold style of bordering that we find in the design of maps. Two of the circles at the front of the space join and then cross over so that they become visually analogous to a mathematical diagram of a 'subset'. Bold bordering and mathematical subset imagery are conventionally used to signify the division of people into class, race, age, religion or area of dwelling. These images join together to create the illusion that we are looking from an ariel perspective at a small scale grid system like those used in the logical development of new cities.
The catalogue for this show reads that new cities are "somehow bound by the logic of -'this sort of '- grid." Inside her images of bold bordering, Sweeney has constructed simplified plaster shelters. These structures accentuate how subgroups of people can either be "cosseted" or excluded by the use of artificially constructed definitions.
On the surrounding walls of this installation are cylinders of woven plastic similar to those seen surrounding seedlings on crop pegs. The suggestion of the seedling symbolises the new growth that happens to a person when they enter a new division or country.
The use of soil and crop imagery reminds us of the creation of old cities which are constructed in accordance with the "law of the land". The plastic cylinders remind us of how an individual is pampered but will also face the danger of being suffocated by growing in such an area.
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Articles in this issue
- From first canvas to national collections in three years
- Book review: Impasse: Art in Australia from Colonization to Postmodernism
- Editorial: Quandong Country
- Feature: 1st floor
- Feature: All about Empire
- Feature: Ann Newmarch: Ripples in the Global Pond
- Feature: Art On-line: Inciting Hypertension
- Feature: Artist-run Intitiatives in Perth
- Feature: Between Heaven and Earth
- Feature: Boomalli Emerging Artists
- Feature: Changing Cultures and Glittering Prizes
- Feature: Counter Culture - Emerging Cultural Fusion @ < Project >
- Feature: Down in the Platform
- Feature: Emerging artists in Canberra: Carving Places
- Feature: Emerging Artists: A New Funding for (old) Initiatives
- Feature: Emerging from What?
- Feature: Finding a Place
- Feature: Formalism Reinvested: Some Emerging Sydney Artists
- Feature: From First Canvas to National Collections in Three Years
- Feature: Gallery Dunce: The Skills to Pay the Bills
- Feature: Going Public...Doin' it in the Street
- Feature: New Talent
- Feature: Over, Under, Sideways, Down
- Feature: Plastic Newcastle - The Epicentre of Denial
- Feature: Portrait of the Writer as a Young Artist
- Feature: Psycho-Troppo - Unidentifiable Artists in Townsville North Queensland
- Feature: Ricky Swallow: The Lighter Side of the Dark Side
- Feature: Shooting Stars - Brigitte Braun's Artplace
- Feature: Storming the Interface: Mindvirus, I/O/D and Deceptive Interaction
- Feature: Struggling to be Seen
- Feature: Studio/Space: Grey Area Art Space Inc.
- Feature: Talk Artists Initiative
- Feature: The Tyranny of Paradise or...On Being an Emerging Artist in Darwin
- Feature: Threadbare With Flare in the 90s
- Feature: Two Moods of Suburbia: Justene Williams and Tony Schwensen
- Feature: Watt Space?
- Feature: You be the Chorus: Rites of Passage in a Virtual Art World
- Feature: Zone Gallery
- Review: Angela Hutchings
- Review: Belinda Giddins, Mandy Ridley and Sandra Selig
- Review: Hatched
- Review: Katie Moore: Huff
- Review: Megan Keating: Schema
- Review: Zoe Sweeney: Subsist - A Cosseted Environment