BY AMELIA GROOM
Currently on show at the Japan Foundation Gallery is a new installation from artist, architect and UNSW academic, Ainslie Murray.
An architectural experiment, it comprises of lightweight plastic sheets that have been perforated and stitched to create complex web-like spaces, and lighting that casts intricate shadows through the pieces. The inspiration for the work came from an encounter Murray had in Kyoto with a textile artist named Machiko Agano; she was captivated by her hand gestures and wanted to somehow map them in three-dimensional space.
With meticulous detail and precision, Murray is attempting to record how the body moves, and how it creates its own kind of architecture. Her interest in Japanese aesthetics and philosophy is also evident in the work, in particular the notions of emptiness, allusiveness, invisibility and shadows that are traced in traditional and contemporary Japanese art.
‘One of the things that fascinated me about Japanese artists,’ Murray recalls, ‘was their willingness to invest time, and to put themselves into the work. When we use machines time accelerates and we distance ourselves from the work ‘ I deliberately make things by hand because I want to slow things down.
‘The mind opens up and we start to process things differently when we’re doing hand work. Architecture is often a remote practice where we are distanced from the builders who are actually putting the things together,’ she says, ‘but I’m interested in bridging that gap.’
An Architecture of Thread and Gesture
Until August 26
The Japan Foundation Gallery
Level 1 Chifley Plaza, 2 Chifley Square
8239 0058 or www.jpf.org.au