Kylie Stillman | The Informal Garden
exhibition at Gertrude Street Artists’ Space, June 2005
At first the eye is uncertain as to what you are seeing – is the object printed, drawn or carved on the books? Then as you approach another step or two the image resolves and delicately carved spaces appear to be niches waiting the replenishment of the subject – either life sized birds or bonsais. The carved facia of the book is a mould for the endless replication and duplication of the subject - an anachronism out of step with our age of digital rather than the outdated forms of mechanical replication. And yet it isn’t just the subject’s mould but also a reference to a host of issues about the transmission of information through our media. ...reviewed in art right now2
The bonsais carved from the leading edge of a stack of books creates a grid like effect that contains the spreading limbs and foliage as they rest on an oriental inspired base - referencing themes that string all the way back to European artists including Delacroix, Matisse and Van Gogh who explored their interest in Japanese woodblocks in their own work by flattening the picture space using panels of colour.