Presented by First Coat Studios, AL-TER is a collection of new sculptural forms by Australian artist, Laurie Oxenford. Her third solo exhibition for 2018, Oxenford continues her ongoing exploration of repositioning found objects and industrial materials in a gallery space. AL-TER discusses the purpose of materials and objects, especially those whose sole purpose is to construct such spaces as the gallery, and how they can be contextualised as art within that same environment.
Oxenford documents and responds to her own interactions with natural and urban landscapes and the nature of each functional object within that dialogue. By inviting functional, everyday and non-traditional art materials into an exhibition context, she challenges art making expectations and the value of material in art. By leveraging ideas that undermine expectations of what should be found in the gallery space, she is able to move materials that usually hide beneath the surface, to a place where they become static, purposive vessels for ideas. Her play with intention, irreverence and purpose references ideas from the Minimalist, Arte Povera and Assemblage art movements.
Function and consequently un-function are explored through intuitive placement of forms. This allows the artist’s experiences and alterations made in the studio to add new meaning to objects. In this way, Oxenford draws upon the ideas attached to her materials, acknowledging how they have existed previously and the ways that they can be altered. Non-traditional installation methods serve as vehicle for the audience to participate in a reverent appreciation of ‘mundane’ materials, giving new authority to purposeful things that can no longer be used.