Monday, 2 July 2012

Trish Roan


The artist with begging bowl at entrance to her exhibition. Actually she was manning the gallery that day and had just finished her lunch. And what a feast for the eyes and senses! Trish is a young artist who thinks! No, this is not a typo...she really does, and not only about her art but also about how the public might participate in it. And this is her strength, that she engages her audience with the most delightful and detailed concepts.

Trish Roan, One, 2012, One dandelion seed head (one wish)

Beautiful in its simplicity One is dandelion seeds meticulously arranged in a glass case, contrasting with our experience of blowing and dispersing the seed head while making a wish. While Trish is comfortable utilising varying materials including video and found objects, it is her interactive works that are perhaps her greatest achievement. 

Trish Roan, Song, 2012, Cast crystal, blown glass, wood, brass, rubber, bearings

In Song the public is invited to turn the handle while a heart with two speakers grinds against a glass plate emanating a haunting scraping tune. Trish calls this public interaction "completing the work". The experience draws one into the mind of its creator, a rarity among many contemporary artists that delude themselves with the 'I am an artist, therefore everything I do is etc. etc.' and end up alienating an increasingly sceptical public. 

Trish Roan, Hum, 2012, Blown glass, light bulb, brass, copper, fimo, paper, watercolour pigment, glitter, thistledown

Hum shows a great understanding of nature and physics. On turning the handle the hummingbird becomes animated as the centre panels create an updraft that suspends a thistleseed much in the same way that nectar collecting birds hover, and the accompanying fluttering sound beautifully completes the concept.

Trish Roan, 800,000,000 heartbeats (for Mark Zirpel), Letterpress type, copperplate etching, copper, brass, wood, mirror, borosilicate glass, rubber, bearings

This work shows the influences of her initial training in the glass workshop at the ANU School of Art whilst perhaps making a statement about moving beyond the blown, slumped, cast glass aesthetic into the realm of conceptual sculpture. As the handle turns the etched plate with animals motifs revolves while a group of type moves in sync with the shape of the copper plate. The type is reflected in the mirror to spell out the title of the work. Trish called the exhibition Sum of Parts. If the sum of the parts is a whole then she has succeeded brilliantly...

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