Tuesday, March 17, 2009

rosalie gascoigne

i was lucky enough to go along with a friend and my brother, his partner and young archer wilton claffey (my 8-month-old nephew in pram) to catch the final day of the retrospective of artist rosalie gascoigne an the ngv ian potter museum last sunday. my friend most eloquently commented (something along the lines, oh i wish i would write the wonderful things people say down straight away) that the respect in rosalie gascoigne's work for the intrinsic humility of the object is truly beautiful. my first impression was that rosalie gascoigne finds and expresses a particularly australian beauty in the found objects - discarded wooden road signs, rusting corrugated iron and weathered timber - she uses for her work. my favourites were her linoleum - using scraps of 30s/40s/50s-era lino patterns and placing them together to make beautiful multi-hued collages. i also very much like the subtle whites, creams, eggshells, powder blues that were in many of her simple timber crosshatch or battened pieces.

the exhibition biography says that rosalie studied sogetsu school of ikebana, and that she credited this study with her appreciation of line and form. i think that her works also are a beautiful example of the philosophy of wabisabi - the japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in the imperfect, the humble, the simple and the incomplete. and the way that rosalie collected and honoured what to many eyes might be viewed as useless, or be discarded as rubbish, reminds me of the beautiful agnes varda film the gleaners and i.

all images of rosalie gascoigne's works here are from the roslyn oxley9 gallery (except for the final two which were taken by my manifestly inadequate camera phone!)

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