Art & Architecture
Artist Profile

Artist Profile Issue 50

Artist Profile is a leading quarterly journal taking its readers into the studios and minds of contemporary artists across Australasia and beyond. Industry professionals engage leading practitioners and emerging talent in conversations about their art, in their own words, while our exclusive photo shoots provide intimate access into artists’ personal and working lives. Readers gain knowledge of artists’ methods, preview works in progress and discover the life experiences that ignite artistic imaginations.

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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
editor’s note

No one who saw Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s Life Span installation in The Ludoteca Castello, Venice, for La Biennale di Venezia, in 2009 has ever forgotten it: a huge black rectangular solid block made from 175,218 VHS video cassettes (weighing ninety tonnes) below a fresco in a twelfth century chapel of a deconsecrated former nunnery. A poetic representation of the 1975 human lifespan average of 60.1 years, the experience of Life Span surpassed that of every other memento mori. Outside the chapel, the summer’s warmth was full of life’s energy. Inside, the black crypt seemed to ignite anxiety for a life needing to be lived; not wasted. Anyone familiar with the content of the videos would probably get Claire and Sean’s critical humour. Life Span is one of the…

5 min.
burning bright

Writing after the death of Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol declared that ‘people will be discussing new beauty in Beuys as long as there are people.’ That was forty-four years ago, and Warhol’s faith in his friend remains as affecting as the beauty in Beuys today. In 2020, unexpectedly, I find a future-tensed faith in an artist who made room for new beauty in the imagery of our collective past. In fifty years, it will be more important than ever to look at, and to make like, Blake. Leaning, or maybe more careering, over the pages of an open book; back curving into an inhumanly long, sinuous neck; the one eye we can see dark in a field of barely-tinted chalky wash that fills not just our reader’s face, but their companions’…

5 min.
kat shapiro wood in between days

Synaesthesia is a catch-all term for an intriguing group of broad sensory phenomena where subjects perceive external elements through multiple senses. Colours are heard, sounds are felt in different parts of the body and numbers are processed as shapes. For people who experience forms of this condition, dubbed ‘synesthetes’, the external is processed in a fundamentally different way. It is a world of inherent duality. Kat Shapiro Wood’s practice is centred around the medium of encaustic (beeswax and natural resin), and crosses the disciplines of painting, sculpture and ceramics. Her work has often had an element of abstract mark-making piercing deep, rich surfaces built up through layers of wax, and has evolved over time to be more and more minimal. Shapiro Wood’s practice is at once unified and dissonant, forged out…

5 min.
kate baker moving into the sublime

"Glass has had its own silo of many years" What attracted you to glass? Its refraction of light, the fact that it's a sculptural material that is malleable; it is a liquid and you can melt it. I was very, very drawn to glass – it seemed quite exotic. I had already been studying photography, sculpture and printmaking at the Canberra School of Art before I embarked on the glass workshop there. Back then (mid to late 1990s) it was an exclusive program of only four or five students a year, but I took a chance. Within a month or two I realised that this material does anything! I’m interested in the ways you bring skills across various mediums to your work with glass. After art school, whilst I was seduced by glass I…

11 min.
punk friction claire healy & sean cordeiro

What lead to building your new studio? Claire: Having the luxury of being able to ponder, rather than have a concept in mind or making the work for a particular site. To have an object within a space to crash your big toe into or fall over; just go towards something with a gut feeling rather than the brain. There were many little things we had to consider or hadn’t heard of. With the help of YouTube, we navigated our way around making this studio. Sean: Yeah, most of our work has been about demolition and inquiries into architecture. So, it’s fitting to actually build a studio to understand what goes into making a building. I read your first project together was in a Greek Orthodox Church. S: The hall attached to the Church… C:…

7 min.
robin white full circle

Robin White (Ngãti Awa) first came to prominence in the 1970s with her distinctive figurative representations of the landscapes and people of New Zealand. The clarity and figurative concentration of her paintings from this period, such as 1974’s Fish and Chips Maketu, translate the local specificity of an apparently mundane subject into something both talismanic and joyful. Since then, White’s practice has evolved as she has lived and travelled throughout the Pacific. In 1982 the artist moved to Kiribati, where she lived for seventeen years, leading her to experiment with a range of new media and techniques and, perhaps most significantly, opening the door to collaboration. Since moving back to New Zealand, the evolution of this collaborative mode of working has allowed White to foster a rich range of reciprocal…