Monday, 28 March 2011


All Visual Arts have called upon artists Alice Anderson and Kate McGuire to create 1 individual sculpture each. Let the drama begin.

The appropriately named BOUND will house both pieces in the AVA’s new space in Kings Cross and will document and illustrate the stifled labyrinth of our fears. Whilst Anderson’s Fort-Da is strictly autobiographical and remains evocative in its personal tone, McGuire’s piece Corvid presents the instinctual and punctual which is void of narrative where we can, somewhat reluctantly, understand our association with it. However, both are colossal in scale and refuse not to be noticed.

Ambiguity writhes within McGuire’s Corvid, a serpentine-like structure which is swathed in an amalgamation of crow’s plumage as well as pigeon’s, mallard’s and magpie’s to provoke a distorted blend of emotions. The choice of birds remain definitive of terms such as: vermin, omens or thieves and the use of common birds are used to constitute different cultural associations. Shaping is a clear component in Corvid where the thick, tubular structure seems capable to oscillate, strike or restrain which delivers a dimension of cavernous fear. Though static, it has a tense disposition. Additionally, the material of the tormenting inanimate mass evokes something muscular and tensile but the delicacy of the feathers provides ominous beauty which is woven in treachery. Equally is the mind. The structure has no beginning or end, no formulated origin or purpose, but it conveys meaning. Similarly, our thoughts and emotions unravel through this journey from the depths of the unconscious to the zenith of our present state, contorting and curling in endless repetition. Both physical and mental, McGuire delivers anxiety at its most potent.

This grating between oppositions is equally echoed in Anderson’s Fort-Da. Here, Anderson manifests a vague contrast within the maternal relationship which is both protective and restrictive. These childhood reveries are cloaked in a piece consisting of a three metre high bobbin with ropes of red dolls hair wound around it. The doll’s hair is emblematic of the vulnerability in childhood and represents the continual connection between mother and child. With this, the bobbin becomes an expression of the mother’s absence to robustly state the duality within a mother and child relationship. Loving yet dominating, the correlation undulates between two states, and the name itself references to Sigmund Freud, whose grandson would repeatedly throw a wooden reel attached to a piece of string over his cot as a figurative gesture to overcome the wave of anxiety. ‘Fort’ and ‘Da’ meaning ‘gone’ and ‘there’ in German was evidence to Freud that the child needed support where angst would reign. Similarly to Anderson, McGuire suggests a sense of endless torment in the action of winding hair through a tunnel of compulsion and separation. Both bound to be stunning pieces, from the 1st April to 30th April, cannot wait.

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