23 February 2011 - 27 May 2011
Trace Elements featured the works of Hannah Bertram and Melanie Irwin, winners of the John Fries Memorial Prize 2010.
Hannah Bertram’s work seeks to highlight that which is momentary, fleeting and overlooked rather than what is traditionally esteemed, conserved or revered as precious. The possibilities of preciousness are explored in ephemeral installations by subverting the traditions of ornamental display. In particular, by making temporary work that employs the complex poetics of ornamentation and questions the value of permanence, extending the viewers experience and discovery of the work through various tactics of delay. These enriched moments of experience, question traditional values associated with permanence and posit an alternative consideration of ornamentation. These methods have been applied to illuminate the possibility of an extraordinary ordinariness, and the preciousness of the incidental.
Melanie Irwin uses base materials and found objects to create sculpture and site-specific installations; sometimes one work will generate the next work through means such as performance and documentation. An ongoing focus of Melanie’s practice is on the incidental aesthetics of utilitarian design in the constructed environment and in nature. Melanie’s interest in geometric shapes is concerned with the arbitrary nature of the universe and the physical transformations that occur in the origins, evolution and deterioration of matter.