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Installation by Ritchie Ares Doña     
7 March – 8 April 2011



Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm
Saturday 26 March 2011, 12 noon until 5pm
Sunday 27 March 2011, 12 noon until 5pm


Opening event:
5pm on Thursday, 10 March 2011


Arts Tasmania is pleased to present Puso as part of Ten Days on the Island’s visual arts program for 2011.


In 2010, arts@work in conjunction with the Australia Council for the Arts developed an Artist in Residence (AIR) program that embedded professional artists within selected Tasmanian High Schools.


Puso is the culmination of Ritchie Ares Doña’s participation in the AIR program.


Ritchie spent 25 days as the artist in residence at Ulverstone High School on the state’s North West Coast, developing an installation piece in collaboration with students.


The resulting exhibition explores the artist’s cultural heritage through a contemporary interpretation of puso, the traditional woven cooking vessels used in the Philippines, Ritchie’s homeland.


Here, Ritchie was taught traditional techniques and it is this knowledge that often shapes his practice and is evident in this new body of work.


Puso, meaning heart, is a Filipino street food made from a woven coconut leaf pouch filled with rice and boiled. Ritchie’s artistic practice draws on his knowledge of traditional techniques to transform used milk bottles into a variety of intricate sculptural forms.


He transforms the humble plastic milk bottle into mass multiples of puso, which are woven together with fluid symmetry and illuminated from within.


Ritchie describes the process by which he works as ‘accidental’ yet his intricate sculptures take hours of meticulous assembling to create.  He collects the materials, often from rubbish bins and tip sites, cleans the plastic bottles and begins the cutting, weaving and creating process.


Ritchie says he wishes “to explore the endless possibilities of using rubbish” through his work.


“One of the most wonderful things about using rubbish as a material is that it is free and there is plenty of it.


“There is no fear in experimenting and making mistakes. Using rubbish means that one is not bound by the limitation of resources,"Ritchie said.


Ritchie is confident that the viewer will recognise in the work that there are clear connections between traditional techniques and modern culture’s mass production of rubbish.


Puso is an organic and dynamic installation where the traditional form of the puso is re-interpreted through the use of recycled materials.

Image: Puso 2010 - Ritchie Ares Dona
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist