Honor Freeman’s work harnesses the mimetic qualities inherent in clay, through the magic of slip casting, to produce exact replicas of overlooked domestic items such as sponges, plugs and cracked bars of soap.
Freeman’s everyday items are often subtly embellished with gold or other precious materials, to allow viewers to deeply connect with the objects that accompany the small, often poignant, moments that fill our time.
Her exhibition Ebb will feature a bathtub, complete with Freeman’s signature soaps, alongside contemporary lachrymal vessels used to collect tears, porcelain rain gauges and buckets. The ceramic suites of work explore the idea of rising tides and flooding, as representative of our own internal struggles.
“Buckets of rain, buckets of tears. We cry 64 litres of tears in a lifetime, apparently. The porcelain buckets represent my own personal grief and the manner in which it manifested in public and private spaces following my father’s death,” said Freeman.
“Paradoxically, there were tears induced by untold numbers of failed attempts during the making and firing of this work. I’m attempting to make sense of and measure the immeasurable,” she said.
Kate Beynon’s exhibition, The Shapeshifter’s Hour, explores supernatural themes, guardian figures and magical creatures. The imagery and characters in Beynon’s new body of work expand her interest in cross-cultural stories and mythologies.
Beynon and her family’s diverse cultural backgrounds, including her Cantonese-Malaysian, Celtic/Welsh and Nordic ancestries, alongside the Afro-Caribbean and First Nations Pima-Mexican ancestries of her husband and sons, inform her conceptual and artistic practice.
The resulting artworks blend personal connections and design influences in a semi-autobiographical and often collaborative way. Inspired by female Surrealists, Beynon’s work also draws from an eclectic range of pictorial traditions including graphic novels, animation, film, calligraphy, textile design and fashion.
“I love exploring colour and charm imagery, mixing painting and textile elements in my work. For The Shapeshifter’s Hour I’ve further imagined a gathering of confidantes as unconventional guardian figures, evoked through their distinctive costumes, accessories and objects,” says Beynon.
Figuring by artist Louisa Bufardeci features over one hundred string figures made of face-mask elastic, pinned across the walls of three galleries.
Bufardeci’s project is inspired by the game of string figures, or cat’s cradles, which used to be a popular game in primary school playgrounds.
Formed with mask elastic and presented in grids, Bufardeci’s string figures are not complete. They come from attempts to make something fully formed but they are tense, slack and entangled.
“While string figures were handed down in the playground through the generations, many arrived there through the process of colonisation, when anthropologists recorded and collected them from communities all around the world,” said Bufardeci.
In these communities, string figures were used to illustrate stories that helped to make the world more understandable,” she explains.
Like abstract Rorschach ink blots, the figures offer hints and suggestions of things that already exist in the world such as animals, objects or scenes. However, they also suggest other things or ideas that don’t already exist.
In her attempts to create the string figures, taken from those documented in anthropologist Caroline Furness Jayne’s book, String Figures: A study of cat’s cradle in many lands from 1906, Bufardeci has created an extensive series of new shapes and forms.
Ebb | The Shapeshifter’s Hour | Figuring
Linden New Art, 26 Acland Street, St Kilda
Exhibition: 11 June – 4 September 2022 (Opening Night: 10 June)
For more information, visit: www.lindenarts.org for details.
Image: Louisa Bufardeci making string figures, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist – photo by Dan St Clair.