kendal murray

Material Properties

Paradigm Gallery + Studio 27/09/2019

The related experiences of memory and dream, collecting, imaginative play and subjective representation are explored through an integration of assembled found objects, painted miniature scenarios and landscaping in the artwork for this exhibition. 

Found objects have been used to create allegorical worlds or stages on which tiny figures act as performers in an assortment of open narratives. The artworks ‘Encircle, Rehearsal, Reversal’and ‘Persistence, Insistence, Outdistance’ are made up of multiple pieces that relate and respond to each other, suggesting numerous narrative possibilities. The playfully stacked assemblages of household objects, pebbles and timber items including juggling pins, ink blotters, bobbins and mallets, have been combined to represent the way narratives might be created in pretend play. The artworks evoke an experience of nostalgia, while the emergent plant forms are suggestive of an embellishment of memory and the creation of new experiences.

The tactile qualities of the materials are interconnected with the physical and emotive experiences of the artwork. ‘Treasure, Measure, Pleasure’and ‘Untied, Joyride’are created as landscaped purses with miniature trees, plants, flowers, people, bikes, birds and a dog. Prompted by the scale and the links to the imagery of dreams, we fantasise that we too are part of the tiny scenes. We imagine walking through the landscape, discovering even tinier items that weren’t revealed to us at first glance, as we hear the birds, the rustle of the leaves in the trees or the sound of the motor bike as it speeds off through the garden.

The scenes created within the mirrored compacts‘Chic Boutique, Mystique Peek’; ‘Child's Play, Make Way, Replay’;‘Tantalise, Synchronize, Exercise!’ and‘Weekday, Faraway’offer the viewer a tableau vivant in miniature that is imbued with social, symbolic and personal meanings. Encased in a collapsible structure that has been designed for a confidential gaze, an invitation is offered for a personal viewing of the scene holding the tiny figures. We get up close to them, imagine what they are saying to each other, and what we might say if we ourselves were within the scene. We envision the actions that follow the scenes that have been arrested as a moment in time. The mirror in these compacts holds an echo, reiteration of the ‘real’ world, as well as providing a metaphoric eye or lens through which an alternate view of the miniature world is revealed. It also alludes to a passage of time through space, a view into the fantasised past and future of ourselves as we project into the tiny worlds.

Kendal Murray, 2019