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Sue Saxon and Jane Becker

All that is solid melts into air  (installation detail ) 2011-12

936 eggshells on light strands 600cm. x 200cm.

How often do you think about the fragile beauty of an eggshell? That little natural gem is front and centre in the third of four new exhibitons at TarraWarra Museum of Art.  Artists Sue Saxon and Jane Becker have collaborated to create a site specific installation which sugggests, ever so subtly, the fragile nature of our relationship with our environment.  Visitors to TWMA will be drawn to the North Gallery by the work above, All that is solid melts into air, where 936 delicate eggshells illuminated by LED lights cascade down and ‘pool’ into an upturned vitrine lid.  (The question of how that work was hung without breaking the eggshells has occupied a great deal of my thought lately.) In the face of this illuminated ‘waterfall’, I was aware of holding my breath and taking great care while walking around the space…heaven forbid that I should bump it and thereby literally and metaphorically risk breaking its magical spell. Such is the power of this work to evoke a response in keeping with its theme. How clever! 

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Sue Saxon and Jane Becker

Lifeboats (Sydney and TarraWarra) 2011-12

eggshells, plaster, ground eggshells and vegetation dimensions variable (8cm. x 5cm. approx.)

There are references to the ability of the environment to regenerate (above) and also pretty scary references to the possibility of complete destruction (below in Freefall).  In his essay titled Common Groundlessness1 Anthony Fitzpatrick suggests that the word freefall brings to mind phrases like ‘economy in free fall’ and ‘biodiversity in free fall’, or worse, ‘ecological collapse’. There’s also a Humpty Dumpty mosaiced from tiny tiny pieces of broken egg shell…(but you’ll have to go out to TWMA to see that for yourself).

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Sue Saxon and Jane Becker

Freefall 2012

117 eggshells on light strand 80cm. x 450cm.

As I wrote and researched this piece, my appreciation of the complexities of this installation went off the scale. Then I haven’t begun to talk about the appropriateness of siting it at TarraWarra, where the beauty of the environment is never far from my awareness. Catch All that is solid melts into air at TarraWarra Museum of Art before 28th May 2012.

Thank you once again to Anthony Fitzpatrick and Eliza Ordinans for their assistance with this post.

 

1. Anthony Fitzpatrick  Common Groundlessness, TarraWarra Museum of Art Ltd, 2012.

 All photography in this post is by Paul Green and published here with the permission of TarraWarra Museum of Art.

© Artists, Photographer, TarraWarra Museum of Art Ltd 2012.