OLIVER, Bronwyn, 1959
30.0 cm x 245.0 cm x 15.0 cm
Courtesy of Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne
Trace is from a series of horizontal works which relate the movement of a pen writing text across a page to the formal 'language' of sculpture.
In forming letters to make words the pen rises and falls against the paper in a rhythm relating to the meaning of the words and the mind of the writer. Each letter has its own geometry - more narrow in places and more rounded in others - which varies according to its context within a word and its relationship to other letters. The 'hand' of the writer can lend a particular poetry of associations to each word - perhaps haste, affection or anger, disappointment and so on.
The 'page' for each of the sculptures in this series is replaced by the two-dimensional surface of the wall. The three-dimensional form of the sculpture rises and falls against the wall - sometimes narrowing, sometimes swelling, sometimes overlapping or curling back on itself, but always in a continuous movement as if flowing from an unseen 'hand'.
The formal language of sculpture includes point, line and plane. When making Trace I tried to make the linear form alight gently against the wall to lend tension to each landing 'point' and the 'line' of the form had to have an ebb and a flow. In this way the wall, or 'plane', becomes a place where events are happening - landings and currents of movement, rather than just a flat surface.
Copper is a soft metal that warms quickly to the touch. I use the lines of the wire like lines of lettering - laying them down in place of writing down. In this way there is also a 'hand' apparent in the flow of the forms.
Bronwyn Oliver, September 2001
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