Mach-in-able: Beneficial machines for ill-fated animals
4 October - 29 OctoberWhen Trevor Weekes requests you write a sonnet,
Just think of all those bees within his bonnet!
I somehow wish my mind were less befuddled
As somehow he unravels what he's muddled.
And so imagination takes a heave
As I enter Trevor's world of make-believe.
Here: a weird, but non-existent bird.
And there: a monkey's stare from the absurd.
His engineered designs are carefully jotted.
With portolans on charts, so neatly plotted,
Described in nonsense language he's invented;
Confused by puns that cannot be prevented.
So not to put too finer point upon it
It's a crazy world in Trevor Weekes' bonnet!
Childhood trauma - that is unintentional trauma towards animals as a child - became a catalyst for WEEKES' lifelong devotion to creating machines for animals. In his latest series, WEEKES continues to studiously design unique mechanical aids. Harnessing a language of construction and design, the natural anatomies of the animals are interposed with machines and gadgetry in a way that questions both their logic and necessity. WEEKES' pseudo technologies mimic the mechanisms of nature yet have incongruous effects. Lost in the layers intricate draftsmanship and detail, it is easy to overlook the ultimate fault in the design.
There is a playful tension between the aspirations of invention and its ultimate outcome. Whether the machines are harmonious additions to animals, or just devices that complicate their lives unnecessarily, it is up to the viewer. In this role WEEKES plays upon the never-ending interventions by humans upon other species. By imagining a relationship between animals and possible machines created to assist them, just like WEEKES', the works make us wonder how helpful to animals we really are.
TREVOR WEEKES was born in Orange, NSW and currently teaches at the University of Newcastle. In 1999 he was awarded his PhD, Newcastle University and in 1994 he gained his Masters of Fine Art from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. His work is represented in public collections, including Artbank, College of Fine Arts, Hamilton Regional Gallery, Macquarie University, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, New England Regional Art Museum, National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, as well as many private collections in the USA, Britain, Spain and Australia. In 2011 Weekes completed a residency at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing.