Men @ Work
Men @ Work
Milford Gallery, Dunedin
Wall of Men (2015) comes from the body of work, Men @ Work. The complete show was exhibited at Milford Gallery on April 2015
This project evolved out of an earlier project from 2014, The Might of Meekness, which was shown at Allpress gallery in July 2014, then part of a group show at Milford Gallery in August 2014. The Might of Meekness was fuelled by myself the artist spending 12 months on a construction site watching men work, with the builders becoming the object of my gaze, and the subject of my obsessive art, watching their every move.
The work is painted on reclaimed construction plywood that has been salvaged from building sites, and then sanded, edged with a miter cut, and white washed to accentual the plywood grain, which becomes the base for the paintings. The wood is not perfect, often dented and chipped, like the builders, far from meticulous. Wall of Men is the painted in Aero color acrylic ink.
There is tension between paint, plywood and the fine line of acrylic ink, the blue space representing the tangible structure, the whitewashed ply, holding the ethereal space that has yet to be built, and the line is that of the body, gestural, capturing the risk, the reality and the fantasy of a vulnerable and weak but strong man working in space
Through my eyes the Wall of Men (2015) building site became theatrical, a stage, where the men moved gracefully and precariously around the space, balancing, hanging, falling, reaching, and climbing, all movements that made up the choreography of the construction of building. It is perilous but perfectly balanced the humorous play between practical and theatrical, which the end result of creating something so tangible.
Essentially the art of construction has informed the construction of art.