When making sculptures I explore the world of ‘Bricolage’. Like all constructions, I follow some basic guidelines for the development of these works.
(1) Found materials are first gathered and sorted. I quite often find toys and the like, objects that take me back to simpler times. (2) I sometimes make molds of items to cast, add to and alter in various ways. When making ceramic pieces I quite often use plaster molds, both commercially available and many I make myself from hand-built blanks or found objects.
Recently I’ve been collecting stainless steel and silver heirloom trays found in OP Shops. I began my OP Shop adventures as an Art Student in Toowoomba. Toowoomba was renowned for its great second-hand shops and OP Shops back in the 1980s. I have chosen stainless steel and silver because of the availability, permanence, and reflective, shine of each. Future conservation will be minimal with such durable materials. (3) When searching for materials, I often have an image or story in mind of what the final sculpture might look like and be about. I then collect and piece together items to match the story. (4) During the construction phase, each found singular element indicates to me what its past life story was, due to its shape and how it was treated, signs of wear and tear leave hints of its past life journey. When observing and handling found objects you can’t prevent yourself from thinking about their past life, their story, and their people. Some of the items have engravings, messages from our recent past, and messages from people, long gone. (5) When reusing items to form a Bricolage. It is my task to place the newly found elements in a way that changes, the original use, purpose, and meaning. By doing so a new story is created. Old and new stories converge during the construction phase.
‘Smoky Mouse’, or the indigenous name, ‘Konoom’, is made from found and at-hand stainless steel and silver. The pieces that make up the new sculpture once lived as refined serving trays to a family, a family of, ‘The Industrial Age’. A bowl for fruit and a child’s glass marble are included. Each element that makes up the new sculpture has its original intended use and meaning transformed by orientation, placement, and purpose. The ‘New’ sculpture reveals the ongoing story of a small endangered indigenous mouse. Another species threatened by Colonial Australia’s past and the advancement of the Industrial Revolution across the globe.