In-Land: Memories of Space
29 August - 23 September 2011
“If there exists a borderline between such mental and physical terrain, it wavers and trembles: it is soft, with vague shapes and edges both devolving toward and evolving from nothingness; it reveals itself through ambiguity and contradiction.”
In-land: Memories of Space, features the work of Tasmanian artist Sara Maher and her response to two inland Tasmanian locations - Lake St Clair and Queenstown.
Building on a theme Sara has long-explored in her work – island solitude and the notion of “boundaries” – In-land explores connections between the boundaries of self and that of vastness, silence and solitary confinement.
As Sara explains of her experiences while on location: “At Lake St Clair I encountered thresholds of the self, namely the limits of my senses - seeing and hearing, and my own fear. It is the tension between these elements and the reverence of nature's immensity that informs this work.”
In contrast to the boundaries of enormous spaces she encountered at Lake St Clair, Sara’s work at Queenstown explored the effect of confined space on the human psyche. “In responding to the walls of old human dwellings,” she says, “I was equally responding to the impermanence of my own being.”
In In-Land, Sara experiments with natural effects via both print-making and painting techniques to both mirror and invert that which she encountered, challenging our perceptions of terrain and the often self-imposed boundaries given to the notion of place while allowing us to explore the density of silence and movement in stillness.
In addition to these prints and etchings, however, the exhibition also showcases a selection of three dimensional objects; small sculptures constructed from a combination of natural materials collected from the surrounding Lake St Clair region and found objects from Sara’s home. Many of the ‘natural’ elements of these objects have the suggestion of a human form and in their minute detail also imply a turning back to the self.
The body of work that makes up In-Land was created during an Arts Tasmania Wilderness Residency at Lake St Clair in addition to the time Sara spent in Queenstown.
In-Land: Memories of Space is on display at 146 ArtSpace, 146 Elizabeth Street Hobart until 23 September.
Image: Whiteout, 2011 - Sara Maher
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist