Entries in sculpture (19)


Smashing Ceramics

Livia Marin’s series of Nomad Patterns and Broken Things are just sublime. Smashed ceramic vessels appear to be melting into pools of molten clay, puddling over the table surface. Made from ceramic, resin and plaster, they are transfer-printed with patterns in the classic Oriental blue and white style.

The London-based Chilean artist says of her work:

My artistic practice has been characterized by large-scale installations and the appropriation of mass-produced and consumer objects. I employ techniques and strategies that are characteristic of Sculpture, Installation and Process Art. I employ everyday objects to enquire into the nature of how we relate to material objects in an era dominated by mass-production, standardization and global circulation.

By appropriating mass-market objects I seek to offer through the work a reflection on how we particularize our relation to them. I reflect on how, in a secular and materialist society, identities are increasingly designated through the material tokens derived from consumerism. 

Fascinating, beautiful and simply smashing.

See more of Marin’s work on her website, and read an interview with her at Underline Gallery.


The Tragic Artist

Jeanne Hebuterne, 1919Today is the anniversary of the birthdate of one of my favourite artists of the twentieth century: Amadeo Modigliani. He is known for the elegant and elongated forms he created as a sculptor and painter. He was influenced by African sculpture, the figurative paintings of the Renaissance, and then by Henri-Toulouse Lautrec and Paul Cézanne, but his own style is unique.

Kneeling CaryatidNude Bust, 1915Constantly sketching, loving life drawing, he made as mny as a hundred drawings in a day. Yet he was his own hardest taskmaster and harshest critic, and many of these are gone, thrown out by himself – dismissed as ‘childish baubles, done when he was a dirty bourgeois’, lost during removals in his frequent changes of address, or given away to girlfriends and subsequently lost. 

Head of a Woman (reproduction)Modigliani was born in 1884, and died in Paris aged just 35, in 1920. Suffering from TB, he became addicted to the drugs and drink he used to palliate the pain of his illness, which was further exacerbated by overwork and poverty. He lived wildly and to excess, and in a bohemian era crammed with extraordinary talent and lives lived hedonistically, became the epitome of the tragic artist, starving in his attic. But his beautiful work lives on. 

Scroll through all his paintings here. Images from Wikipaintings.

Click here for a fashion shoot by British Vogue and Sarah Moon, inspired by Modigliani’s paintings.

Teresa, (ink) 1915Big Red Buste (Leopold II), 1913Caryatid, 1911Madame Georges van Muyden, 1917Portrait of Beatrice Hastings, 1916Head of a Girl, c 1918Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne, 1918Nude, 1917


Wigging Out

Aren’t these paper replicas of eighteenth century wigs extraordinary? I have to admire anyone with the patience and skill to create intricate sculptures out of paper. Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry, who co-founded the Paper-Cut Project in 2009 are such a pair. These wigs were created for the Bay Holiday windows and are only one of many such projects.

The Atlanta-based duo has been commissioned by top fashion houses and galleries, including Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade and Valentino. They recently collaborated with the Victoria & Albert museum to create paper wigs for the Hollywood Costume exhibit – unfortunately these did not travel with the rest of the exhibition (which is currently showing at ACMI) to Melbourne. See more of their intricate work at Paper Cut Project.


The Disgruntled Elf

The Disgruntled Elf :: Loftus // C-Type Plate // No flash Q. When is an elf disgruntled? A. When he is a gnome on a donkey entertaining delusions of grandeur.

Just look at this kitsch ceramic little figure. Even the donkey looks put-upon.  Tolkien never wrote about anything so comically adorable, although this pair does resemble a couple of reluctant adventurers.

I don’t recall how I stumbled upon this figurine on Etsy, but it sure tickled my fancy. I already owned a small stone carving of a donkey/mule/horse that I had bought in the Rif Mountains of Morocco, and decided this little pair would look darling sitting nose to nose with it on my windowsill: a study in contrasts.

A Vintage Touch :: Loftus // C-Type Plate // No flashThey came from the quaint Etsy store Betty And Dot, named after the owner’s two grandmothers. The lovely owner Sherri, surmises the figurine is most probably of 1960s Japanese origin. She very carefully packaged it for a long journey over the ocean, and the figurine arrived safely, tied up with blue ribbon and cushioned amongst the bubble wrap. Sherri included a lovely handmade note (I loved the vintage rainforest photograph) and a vintage posy of berries –a personal touch that makes all the difference with impersonal online shopping. She also has a second Etsy store, Sew Betty And Dot, specialising in vintage sewing supplies.

Here are the donkeys on my windowsill, becoming acquainted. Hee-haw!

Getting Acquainted :: Loftus // C-Type Plate // No flash


The Dream Under the Overpass

Oblivion :: Helga Viking // Claunch 72 Monochrome // No flashThe other day I was trawling through my photo archives and came across this photo of a drawing I did over a year ago. I had forgotten all about it, and how I laughed when I saw this picture. It brings to mind Callum Morton’s sculpture Hotel that sits surreally beside the EastLink freeway in Greater Melbourne. (I chuckle every time I flash past it.)

Hotel, Callum Morton 2008I often have very vivid dreams, many about travelling, but I might have forgotten all about this one if I hadn’t made this drawing the next day. I am not sure if it’s a fragment of the one where I was also travelling by bus through the snowy wastes of Russia. Here I had stepped off the road (note the striped roadworkers’ tape in the foreground) to view some sunken apartment buildings just beyond an overpass. I was warned by a fellow traveller not to step nearer because the ground was unsafe. Oh really? I never would have noticed. I didn’t care though – I needed to take photographs of this extraordinary sight. I am absolutely certain I would do the same thing in real life!

Now that I’ve found this photo (goodness knows what happened to the original sketch) this shall have to be turned into a proper drawing I think.