Kirsten Haydon ‘ice structure’ @ Gallery Funaki

10 06 2011

Stepping into Gallery Funaki to see Kirsten Haydon‘s exhibition ‘ice structure‘ is a wonderful experience – it’s calm and startlingly white, and I particularly like how the layout has been slightly altered for this show.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The display surfaces have been topped with thick styrofoam, which is beautifully stark white and matt; especially wonderful is if you accidentally or gently brush against it is sounds like walking on snow. Thoughtful exhibition design indeed.

Also particularly beautiful is a projection of images of Antarctica against some of the white enamelled objects in the window space … lovely.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The above neckpiece (there are two other similar pieces) is simple and elegant. Though I expect the making process would have been quite difficult – the components look to be little copper tubular beads, and if I understand enamelling well (Kirsten taught me enamelling in second year at RMIT!) then I would expect the insides of the tubes would have been counter-enamelled too…. what a labour of love, and to make three would have been pretty intensive.

The objects are my favourite pieces in the exhibition – especially the one on the right in the first image above. The lip reminded me of my nana’s enamel cookware, and the subtle blue streak has a nostalgia about it that’s not easy to define. The bowl on the left of the same image is also quietly lovely, and has a maternal shape to my mind.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “Since 2004, when she travelled to Antarctica as an Antarctic Arts Fellow (NZ), Kirsten Haydon has explored the icy continent through jewellery and object making. Her practice has considered the structures and palette of Antarctica’s forbidding terrain, its wildlife and the impact of human activity upon it. In this new exhibition, Haydon explores the forms and histories of artifacts from the huts used during Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan of the above neckpiece, more due to my personal aversion to ‘realism’ than anything else. I prefer the images covered with reflector beads as with the brooch in the previous image – kind of like an obscuring of the image, as though it was in a snow storm.

This exhibition has also been reviewed with detail and consideration by Marcus Banyan on ArtBlart [post], and Lucy Hearn calls her ‘queen of enamel’ (cute!) [post]. Also see more about Kirsten here.

Kirsten Haydon’s ‘ice structure‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 18th June 2011.


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