Leading Australian assemblage artist, Susan O’Doherty has created a new series of works in Pinned to the Wall: Objects and Obsessions, currently on display at Ballarat’s The Lost Ones Gallery until 21 August 2016.
The new paintings and assemblages critique the conventions of the domestic sphere through the use of mass produced, everyday objects. O’Doherty’s practice is based in three dimensional mixed media assemblages and constructions, which tackle social issues, consider the ethereal nature of time, recollections and experiences.
The featured objects include bottles, keys, taps, books, keys, egg cups, clocks and ashtrays, some of which have been modified to suggest alternate or new meanings. The new works centre on the gender expectations in today’s society, with O’Doherty noting that similar issues have been in discussion for the past six decades, and that the objects she employs are often used as memory markers within the context of the passage of time.
“With the continuing pressures on women in society, it’s about shifting the focus to the incessant demand to present the façade of a perfect house and home life,” said O’Doherty. “These objects are the silent spectators of our everyday lives; they experience both the harmony and the dissonance in our domestic domain.”
“The compositions in my work are important. Familiar mass produced objects derive their re-presented identities from their new relationships to each other, and from the social history that comes from each one. The objects are intentionally placed to convey harmony or dissonance or something intangible in between.”
Born in Brisbane, Susan O’Doherty has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand. Central to her art practice are her mixed media assemblages and constructions which, apart from social issues, deal in her own words with the ethereal nature of time, recollections, experiences, lives lived and an awareness of mortality.
O’Doherty’s three dimensional wall pieces assimilate a wide range of familiar found objects and implements. These reconfigured assemblages incorporate glass, metal, wood, plastic, textiles, and ceramics within constructed and painted structures. She is also a painter, ranging from domestic interiors to landscapes and portraits.
The Lost Ones is a contemporary art gallery and creative maker’s space in the heart of heritage Ballarat. Housed in an 1870s-era Masonic temple, The Lost Ones hosts exhibitions, workshops, performances, art classes and more. From contemporary art to time-honed crafts, the gallery has a diverse and dynamic program that profiles artists from regional Victoria and across Australia.
Pinned to the Wall: Objects and Obsessions
The Lost Ones Gallery, 14 Camp Street, Ballarat
Exhibition: 3 – 21 August 2016
Image: Susan O’Doherty, Dietitician 2015 (detail). Soft drink bottle, taps handles, metal grate, hammer, shoes, tea pot, metal scales, ceramic tiles, paint, wood and varnish.