Please touch the artwork! For Things to Play With, Anna Varendorff’s first solo exhibition at Craft, you are invited to touch, play and manipulate a collection of brass structures. Described as an ‘interactive installation’, Things to Play With asks the viewer to move the hand-crafted brass structures within the gallery space and to explore the relationships of volume, space and time.
OPENING 6pm Thursday 5 September 2013
SHOWING 6 September – 12 October 2013
AT CRAFT 31 Flinders Lane Melbourne
Varendorff states: “My work attempts to break down the culturally defined notions of preciousness in a traditional gallery space. It introduces a new interpretation of performance into the gallery space, one that includes the audience in the presentation process.”
Anna Varendorff is primarily known as a jeweller – her work is featured across Australia in retail spaces and private collections – but for Things to Play With she challenged her traditional jewellery-making techniques to create metal works that are not merely ‘up-scaled jewellery’. They are, as she described, more ‘jewels for a room’. “They show markings of the hand that makes them, and have shadows which acknowledge the space on which they rest. They are not solid forms, but dimensional structures which are free of obvious purpose.”
Things to Play With consists of around 50 hand-fabricated brass abstract structures between 20cm and 1m squared. The objects’ rudimentary shapes will allow for stacking, nesting and leaning.
The participation of an audience, with artworks, in a gallery setting is almost always restrained. We are culturally programmed to treat objects placed within a gallery environment with reverence and distance. Hand crafted works in some ways have the power to invert this ‘training’ as they maintain a certain tactility coupled with usefulness, and as such they have the power to re-introduce approachability where it has been culturally removed. Varendorff’s metal objects in Things to Play With are playful; they can be rearranged infinitely like Lego.
Varendorff states: “Whatever placement the audience leaves them in, will create delicate golden lines and shadows. I will then draw onto the white painted walls and covered floor the shadows created by the ‘room jewels’, thus leaving a permanent marking by which to remember the positions of the jewels in that space and time.”
Haima Marriott has collaborated with Varendorff to produce sound elements metering the performances.
Header image by Anna Varendorff. Photo by Isobel Knowles.
Installation photographs by Anita Beaney.