Cosmos

 

We profile ‘Cosmos’, the last of our five ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everythingchapters joining past blogs on ‘Sweetmelt’, ‘Blackwater’, ‘Soaring’, and ‘Treasure’ 

Imagine the journey
of an ancient serpent
Bending and rewriting
space and time

Imagine you are high above
the earth, leaving this atmosphere
heading into the stars
Imagine you are a particle

As if lying under the stars, in a space of storytelling, memory and exploration, Cosmos brings together our fears and hopes.

From left: Latifa Echakhch’s À chaque stencil une révolution (For each stencil a revolution) 2007; Judy Watson’s grandmother’s song 2007; Huang Yong Ping’s Ressort 2012 and Anish Kapoor’s Void (#13) 1991-92 installed in ‘Sugar Spin’ / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Iran b.1924 / Lightning for Neda 2009 / Mirror mosaic, reverse-glass painting, plaster on wood / The artist dedicates this work to the loving memory of her late husband Dr Abolbashar Farmanfarmaian. Purchased 2009. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist / Photograph: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

The silvery fangs and vast, ghostly skeleton of Huang Yong Ping’s imposing steel serpent, Ressort 2012, descends coiling through the gallery space. A sea of the deepest blue rises on the walls in Latifa Echakhch’s work made from sheets of carbon paper sprayed with alcohol: in northern Africa and the Middle East, the stencil was once a tool of revolution, symbolic of the hope for change, a vital yet fragile sentiment. The death of a young woman in a pro-democracy protest in Tehran is commemorated in Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s expansive mirrored mosaic. In it, we see ourselves drawn into a universe of perfect forms and shifting vanishing points. This work builds on ancient mathematical and ornamental traditions, exploring the links between knowledge, chaos, spirituality and creativity.

Latifa Echakhch, Morocco/France b.1974 / À chaque stencil une révolution (For each stencil a revolution) 2007 / Single-wall installation: A4 carbon paper, glue, methylated alcohol, AP, ed. of 3 / Purchased 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

The perfect blue depths of Anish Kapoor’s curving wall sculpture Void (#13) 1991-92 offer a sublime vision of the ineffable, while the night spirits play in Tracey Moffatt’s ghostly ‘Spirit Landscapes’ 2013. The liquid depths and vivid blue of Judy Watson’s pigment-stained canvas grandmother’s song 2007 offer a tribute to the life and influence of her grandmother, Grace, marking the care between one generation and another, and memory, a treasure of continuing value. Pain and grief are drawn into a transcendent field alongside beauty and knowledge, the vastness of all we are yet to understand.