the grain, the snail and the artist

Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University   23 October – 6 November 2013 My art signifies and mimics visual transformations occurring through biotechnology. Inspired by my family’s involvement with large-scale grain cultivation, this project sees drawing as installation as a tool for contemplating the benefits and drawbacks associated with biotechnologies in agriculture. For me, drawing is a mutable process through which to explore transformations within the physical world. My marks are a narrative of human experience and an experimental step analogous to scientific manipulation of biological organisms and farming practices. I take information from the fields, place it onto a computer and under the microscope and manipulate these images through an expanded idea of drawing. Information constantly transforms into different states of being through my hand as I force transformation through chance and intentionality. I utilise snails to develop more immediate and tangible methods of exploring transformations through our collaborative marks. The rhizomes resulting from the snails’ journey explore a history ensnared by speculation, fear and excitement about the prospects of biotechnologies. In my drawings, notions of time are introduced through the application of materials using ephemeral layering. The idea of concealed information fascinates me. Layering provides a dramatic play between certainty and uncertainty, concealing and revealing, attraction and repulsion. My artwork represents a journey of transformation from drawing to installation, exploring the transition from one state to another. I position artwork in unfamiliar contexts and encourage engagement through sensorial means. I want people to actively experience the marks I make within a space rather than passively viewing them from a distance. By allowing people to walk amongst the drawings, sometimes affecting the installation through their presence, I enable my works to gain immediacy. This exhibition was the culmination of my Master by Research undertaken through the department of Visual Arts and Design, La Trobe University, Bendigo.  Read my exegesis abstract and introduction here.

 

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