Contemporary artist Fiona Hall’s divergent art practice encompasses photography, sculpture, video art, painting and three-dimensional installation. In the 1970s she pursued her art practice in the realm of photography with a specific focus on the natural environment. Having grown up in southern Sydney on the outskirts of the Royal National Park, Hall was drawn to the complexities and hidden dimensions within the natural and organic worlds- a thread that has continued into her contemporary practice. Her three dimensional works have always blurred the boundaries of materiality, of juxtaposing the everyday object such as a sardine tin into a critically engaged piece of art. Her early photographic work such as Leura New South Wales, 1974, confuses normal perceptions of materiality, with the scene blending into a potential bush landscape, with a leaf strewn ‘carpet’ in the foreground. The ‘real’ internal environment of carpet and lounge suite is blurred into a textural landscape that belies its safe and domestic reality. Hall comments on the proliferation of exotic plant species in the natural environment set against the artificial setting of the domestic lounge room as a broader metaphor for the negative impacts of humans on the environment.
Callaghan College, Jesmond Campus
Macro musings (detail) (2011)
ARTEXPRESS Artist Statement:
My work embodies the things that inspire and interest me … the little things that others are often unable to see … the beauty of our instruments, or the intricacy of the forgotten. I have always felt black and white is a more empowering and inspirational media form when compared to colour, and I aimed to convey the power of the small and beautiful through the use of strong shades and tones. My work is everything the title suggests personal musings on the world that goes unseen around us, revealed through macro (close-up) photography
Examine the works of Smit and Hall. Analyse how the close cropping of objects confuses the eye and creates the illusion of a different world.
Discuss the role of the artist in drawing an audience’s attention to everyday details that are overlooked in order to manipulate or create a specific viewpoint.
Analyse how both artists have utilised simple structural elements to frametheir subject and focus the audience’s attention.
Download ARTEXPRESS 2012 Conversation with the Collections.