Complex connections between humanity and the natural world are celebrated and reconceived in ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’. The exhibition plays with ideas of abundance, dizziness and disorientation in five contrasting chapters. We continue our profile on the exhibition themes with ‘Soaring’.
Imagine the earth falling away
beneath you, a sensation of lightness
The land below is all pattern and
rhythm, a dappled skin
We don’t need wings to soar. We fly also when we stretch our thoughts, our imaginations. We soar when we discover new patterns and insights. From Tobias Putrih’s arch of cardboard boxes to Gabriel Orozco’s suspended skeletal wing, and the undulating rhythms of Doreen Nakamarra Reid’s vision of her country, this chapter of ‘Sugar Spin’ brings together many different patterns: in landscapes, on the skin, through genes and generations.
The profound and sustaining connections between land and body are explored in the graphic rhythms of Dhuwarrwarr Marika’s painting connecting the form of the waterhole with the fontinel of a newborn. Familial lines animate Vernon Ah Kee’s charcoal portraits of his daughter and great-grandmother and adjacent to the media gallery Judith Wright’s consideration of the breast and the links between mother and child. These patterns of continuity and the tender relationships between generations are disrupted in Gordon Bennett’s The Shooting Gallery 1989, as what initially appears to be a more traditional dot painting resolves into the scene of a massacre. Pattern can both reveal and hide deeper truths. These works ask us to train our eyes and think deeply of this place, the broader world, creation and destruction. Cai Guo-Qiang brings all of these factors into a form of cosmology in his sinuous drawing created with gunpowder explosions.
An understanding of the structures that underpin our society is vital to its evolution and growth. Soaring includes Finau Mara’s delicately woven mat for a small baby; Sandra Selig’s threaded intersecting trajectories; Carl Warner’s studies of the concrete underside of bridges; and Rivane Neuenschwander’s world map marked out in honey, slowly being consumed by ants. Nourishment and knowledge exist in tension with the potential for over-consumption; tenderness and care coexist with devastation.