‘I transform the collected object into sculptures evoking a human narrative, revealing a strange beauty within the forgotten and discarded. The works display a wry sense of wit and humour, and play with the suggestion of physical movement or a practical function for the hitherto inanimate object. 

I create sculpture with a solid conceptual basis, using collected objects, felted wool, and casts of the human body. The resulting sculptural forms are at once intriguingly familiar yet strangely unsettling.' 

         

Felt In 1993 I completed a Bachelor of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts. At that time I was casting the human body in paper, directly making plaster moulds from the human body, exploring the idea of human fragility, and how skin can be like a paper. In 1994  I started exploring the opposite idea, resilience of the human body, and how the skin stretches and mends itself.  I learnt the skills of making felt by hand, to use this material to mould the human body in felt. I recognised felt as a medium in which to explore other conceptual ideas, such as miscommunication, nomadism, and our relationship to nature and animals. Since then, I have used felt in my sculpture, focusing on its ability to insulate sound, to make connections with our spiritual nomadic history, and explore its use in industrial machinery, domestic tools and in musical instruments. I make the felt by hand using the hair of various sheep, warm water and soap, in much the same way as nomadic cultures have done for thousands of years. I enjoy being a part of the continuation of this ancient craft. It is an intriguing material that is both primitive yet industrial, and intensely tactile and evocative. 

  

Collected objects are used as symbols and keys to narrative associations within a sculpture. I consider the objects past function, and possible re-interpretation, as equally as the aesthetic contribution it might make to my works. I often imagine the object to be autonomous, as in my work titled Leaping Chair, where the chair appears to run up the gallery wall and leap across the room. The role of function and dysfunction within sculpture continues to intrigue me, with many of my sculptures appearing as if they have a practical function. I intentionally blur the boundaries between sculpture, artefact, tool and toy. The works I create are often humorous but have an element of the tragic about them. Life has these dualities.

  

Commissions

I have worked on several public art commissions, working closely with Councils, maintaining budgets and timeframes, and aiming to ensure a creative solution and sensitivity to the particular site and community I work with.

I accept private commissions also, working with the clients' own collected objects of personal meaning to them, or using my own collection of objects. Felt commissions are also available. anita@anitalarkin.com 

 

Sales 

I am represented by Defiance Gallery in Sydney. Enquiries about purchasing work or commissions can be directed to the gallery. 

DEFIANCE GALLERY 47 Enmore Rd, Sydney 2042 Australia

 lauren@defiancegallery.com  61 2 95578483  www.defiancegallery.com