Constant Craving: In A Material World


26 May - 10 June, Sat, Sun 10-4

 

Constant Craving - In A Material World showcases four artists’ responses to Dr Therese Kenyon's curatorial brief where she considers our drive to consume and the way we create meaning in a material world. Slivers of line between getting and having, collecting and hoarding, discarding and re-assignment, are explored in new work by Tara Axford, Paul Cooper, Christina Frank and Ariella Friend.
 
Tara Axford explores a bower bird tendency to ‘collect’ brightly coloured things. She plays with scale in her practice, and arranges pieces so they are viewed differently. Here she reveals her personal collections of new and ‘used’. The colours in these ‘collections’ underpin our daily lives - from the plastic toys of early childhood to the RGB screens we view. These colours also feature in the brightly lit aisles that sell us what we ‘need’. WHAT WE MUST GET. This is reflective of consumerism at its beginning and end.
 
The internet’s ever-present convenience and its desire to service our need for instant gratification is the backbone for the works of Paul Cooper in this ‘Constant Craving – in a Material World’ exhibition. Using Shakespeare’s idea of the witch as inspiration, Cooper is exploring the notion of satisfaction and how well the world wide web appeases cravings.
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open locks,
Whoever knocks – Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1
 
As spirit and soul, Christina Frank is interested in how we live ‘in a material world’: a question tackled by religions, responding to the anxiety of this tension, and the apparently universal human inclination to excess. Her sculptural installation is derived from a meandering series of influences, from Roman Jerusalem to Amazon backwaters, Ancient Egypt and the British Empire, to modern day Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Exploring the idea of ‘grace’ and its relationship to ‘craving’, between ‘receiving’ and ‘getting’, she considers in particular the story and life cycle of the extraordinary Victoria Amazonica Water Lily.
 
Ariella Friend’s body of work proposes a new landscape where what we throw away becomes part of what will become. It comprises sculptural forms that resemble nature yet feel strangely unfamiliar- existing somewhere in the gap between fiction and reality symbolizing an altered landscape, a place where the dualities of domination and loss are explored and the interconnectedness of all things is apparent.
 
Image top: exhibition view, below: detail Tara Axford