Press Room Details

Lynda Draper
Wonderland & the Irony of Memory

Roderick Bamford

Ceramics: Art & Perception, No. 73, 2008, 3 - 8

Extract only (PDF available from the Gallery)

IN THE SEAWARD SHADOW OF A COASTAL escarpment south of Sydney, an old farmhouse and studio embrace a concatenated compilation of artifacts. The objects of this collection, gathered and imagined, have become a well of inspiration for Lynda Draper, their stories sustaining her fascination with the domestic object.

Draper’s early interpretations of these artifacts of the everyday engender a poetry of formand usage.Her small sculptures imply a sometimes bizarre functionality as mounds give way to the fleshy organisation of tubes and vessels, admixed with fractions of the botanical world. Draper describes the works as evolving through “abstracting fromspecific objects often from one source” and “fusing them together to produce an object that appears to have an identity of its own”.1

The emerging synthesis coalesces the language of pottery with companion forms of its domestic environment. Our familiarity with pottery in its most intimate domain emphasises a powerful haptic and symbolic language, physically resonating with the communal spaces of the home.

The ‘identity of its own’ referred to by Draper provides a clue to the emerging interests embodied in hermore recentwork.Alanguage of thedomestic is activatedandcharged with enquiry. The prominent traits of tactility, characteristic physical marks of raw intervention in Draper’s early work, give way to more deliberate contrasts of texture. Remnants of objects of handled origin are nowmore varied, incorporating fingered undulations alongside dramatic indications of tooling, and amalgamated with the more generic smoothed surface aesthetics of modern mass production.

The cumulative visual effect articulates a more edgy yet subtle hybridity and broadens the context thematically. The newer works conjure images of sugary still lifes,metaphors for memories of comfort and intimacy associated with childhood and the domestic space. Ourmemories are a formative part of our personal autobiographical identities.

José van Dijck2 reminds us that we use objects and media as an interpretive way of making meaning from our own experiences within the larger narratives of our history.We do this by inscribing experienceswhich facilitate future recall.Here vanDijck is referring to the emergence of digital media, and how, through its creative use, peoplemake sense of their own lives and connections to the lives of others. Of course there is a filtering of these experiences through discursive conventions, social and cultural practices, and other technological tools. We are most familiarwith this notion of filtering through the impacts of television, radio and the internet, but perhaps less so in the realmof the arts, and in particular, the genre of still life.

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