It’s a small world, art by Kendal Murray, Jeannie Baker and Sandra Taylor

November 13, 2013

2012/69/1 Mixed media assemblage 'Deja Vu, Review', mixed material, made by Kendal Murray, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2011. Collection: Powerhouse Museum
2012/69/1 Mixed media assemblage ‘Deja Vu, Review’, mixed material, Kendal Murray, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2011. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Museums have used toys, models and dioramas to explain and comment on the workings of a larger world. Here, artist Kendal Murray has created a miniature surreal world atop an antique purse though her work Déjà vu, Review’. This sculptural mixed media offers a playful look at the domestic world and holiday culture. The miniature world draws us closer, and invites us to investigate.

As we view this strange tableau presented by ‘Deja Vu, Review’ we are the voyeurs and participants, as is the man watching the woman vacuum from afar. This artwork invites the viewer to call upon personal memories of holidays and housework.

2012/69/1 Mixed media assemblage 'Deja Vu, Review', mixed material, made by Kendal Murray, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2011
Close up of 2012/69/1 Mixed media assemblage ‘Deja Vu, Review’, mixed material, made by
Kendal Murray, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2011

Murray’s work explores scenarios that are imbued with social and personalised meaning. Humorous, melancholic and sometimes disturbing, her work is layered with representations of emotional and physical experiences.

There is a fascination for children and adults in these small reflected worlds. Sydney artist and children’s author A9646-3 Table sculpture,Living room, with pig on couch, part of table sculpture "Xmas Day at Sans Souci", glazed stoneware, Sandra Taylor, Australia. 1981-1983. (OF).top view

A9646-3 Table sculpture,Living room, with pig on couch, part of table sculpture “Xmas Day at Sans Souci”, glazed stoneware, Sandra Taylor, Australia. 1981-1983. (OF)Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Taylor’s work has been humorously and critically observant of some aspect of Australian ‘norms’, and over the years she has made these observations through metaphors as diverse as pigs, savaloys, palm trees, dogs, cattle, houses, swimming pools and pencil pines.

A9646-1:2 Table sculpture, Garden "Barrier Reef" pond and Garden, lawn with three sheep, part of table sculpture "Xmas Day at Sans Souci", glazed stoneware, Sandra Taylor, Australia. 1981-1983. (OF).side view
A9646-1:2 Table sculpture, Garden “Barrier Reef” pond and Garden, lawn with three sheep, part of table sculpture “Xmas Day at Sans Souci”, glazed stoneware, Sandra Taylor, Australia. 1981-1983. Collection: Powerhouse Museum

Seen here from the side is another part of the Christmas tableau collection, titled ‘Garden, Barrier Reef Pond” the three sheep are observing the garden gnomes.

 

Written by Anni Turnbull, curator, design and society

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