(Be)Comings and goings, May 2019. Sydney College of the Arts Main Gallery, Rozelle.
The artworks in this exhibition support my PhD thesis. They capture a slippage from an historical into a contemporary minimalism and refute criticism that minimalist artworks have no capacity for connection to social ideas. I claim that it is the capacity of the everyday and the familiar to be understood as extra-ordinary that engenders social meaning in these sculptures. The use of everyday materials such as aluminium, mirrors and fluorescent lights together with photographic images depicting utilitarian stair-wells, evoke the experience of dislocated perceptions and different ways of seeing and understanding the contemporary world.
My thesis argues that a contemporary aesthetic is established through a moment of heightened anticipation relating to the idea that something is about-to-happen. This occurs when physical and philosophical ideas and elements are assembled in unexpected ways. In this, these assemblage sculptures suggest that transformation from one state to another, identifies that something new and changed can occur. It is by showing that transformation is possible, that these sculptures seek new opportunities for an enhanced encounter with their viewer and at the same time the broader opportunity to look at the world in different and extra-ordinary ways.
Merryn Hull, PhD thesis titled, Extra-ordinary (Be)Comings and goings: transformative encounters in contemporary assemblage.
Photo documentation: Isobel Markus-Dunworth
Still going, Meccano, 2019.
Three aluminium-framed mobile structures partially faced with two-way mirror. 250 cm x 90 cm x 50 cm.
The viewer and their environment are reflected in adjacent panels which are both mirrored and semi-transparent. Their reflections offer multiple interpretations and possibilities for understanding their presence within deserted and under-utilised spaces such as these.
Lines of Flight, 2019.
Thirteen aluminium-framed freestanding sculptures, shadow projections. Each approx. 240 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm.
The term “lines of flight”, though clichéd through populist usage, captures my focus on the about-to-happen. The transforming sculptures, with their escaping shadow lines capture the potential for a transformed future.
Stair #1, Stair #2, 2019.
Digitised prints on floor mounted boxes with fluorescent lights. 10 cm x 240 cm x 140 cm.
Minimalist abstractions depict parts of stair-wells highlighting the banal and the everyday.
I only ever wanted to be a painter, 2019.
Aluminium shelf, switch glass, electronic circuits, sensors, electrical cable. 90 cm x 60 cm.
Pays homage to the work of artist Stephen Little through its interpretation of everyday objects as painting. As the viewer approaches the work, the anticipated view of what is on the wall becomes hidden as the glass transforms from clear to opaque.
Stair #3, 2018.
Two-way mirrored acrylic, digitised image, aluminium frame, fluorescent tubes, electrical cable. 60 cm x 60 cm.
Stair #4, 2019.
Aluminium frame with digitised image of stair-well mounted on two-way mirror, gallery window, LED lighting. 240 cm x 120 cm
Becoming of Unbecoming, 2019.
Painted and gilded aluminium panel, aluminium base. 240 cm x 120 cm.
The making of Lines of Flight. Contact sheets.