Curated by John Vella
Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, Hobart
Friday 21st May 2010
By Anneliese Milk
How long is a piece of fishing line? The answer depends on the artist using it. In Online (fishing) curator John Vella has reeled in a small and exciting group of contemporary Australian artists by using fishing line as ‘bait.’ Featuring the work of four artists and one artist collective, Online consists of five separate installations aligned solely by their use of fishing line.
Anne Mestitz’s All that I am is an exploration of suspension and colour. Anchored between ceiling and floor, a series of fishing lines are pulled taught; each one painted a different colour. The tops and bottoms of each line have been left unpainted, creating a prism-like rainbow suspended in space. The result is a penetrating, luminous sculpture.
The artist collective Terrior responded to their Online invitation with ‘mild panic’ before channelling the theme of ‘discussion meets repressed memories.’ The result, Chrysalis, is an immense raft-like sculpture made from cardboard, fishing line and fishing net. Suspended above the floor, Chrysalis is festooned with flotsam and debris as though it has just emerged from the depths of the ocean, our indeed, our subconscious minds.
Arguably the exhibition’s highlight, Di Allison’s work transforms fishing line and red pill capsules into surprising and original art forms. In Field, a poppy-like field of pills bloom in the centre of the floor. Individually fastened to spikes of fishing line, the tiny red capsules pierce the carpet, which swells up beneath them like a small hill. Allison’s site-specific use of carpet brings with it a sense of the uncanny: a creeping unease.
Now showing at Hobart’s Plimsoll Gallery until 18 June, Online (fishing) is testimony to the limitless and diverse imaginations of the artists at work here.