DMG Award 2016

Anna McMahon

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Untitled # 23 from the series the world is weary of me, and I am weary of it, 2015, Palm, glass

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Anna’s research paper presented historic and contemporary examples of artists who produce work that borrows techniques from other professional fields, thus positioning themselves as amateurs in the field from which they are borrowing. This process was examined through exploring the role of artist as dilettante. It proposes that there are various strengths in embracing dilettantism as a strategy, such as within freedom of expression; the provision of an unrestrained research voice; the reinterpretation of tradition without the constraint of traditional rules; the possibility of not knowing and having nothing to loose. Furthermore in relation to my own practice I explore issues of sexual polarity; success and failure; life and death; and personal historic symbolism.

The works Untitled # 22, Untitled # 23, Untitled #24 and Untitled # 25 were installed in the SCA gallery space to create a dialogue on the paradox of the professional artist working as an amateur. Each work consisted of a number of different flowers in conjunction with other everyday objects. These works consisted of a circular neon light with a white orchid balancing at the bottom curve;  a large palm leaf sandwiched in between four thick sheets of glass; a basketball hoop with a ball balanced by wattle branches and red hot pokers (a flower variety); and, nine kangaroo paw wired together to form forming an arch.


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