Friday, April 1, 2011

In conclusion

Rachael McKinnon reviews Selene Simcox: In Residence

After completing her BFA at Whitecliffe College Arts and Desgin, Selene Simcox is now in the
second year of her Masters of Arts Management.

The exhibition on March 11 was the culmination of her period as artist in residence at the Manthel van Reijn Studio. And it was her residency in the studio that was key to her artistic output.

Simcox's pieces negotiate the space within which she worked. There is a sparse, breeze-block, concrete and steel interior area and a modern courtyard with large concrete slabs on the exterior. Simcox collapses these boundaries by bringing textures from each area respectively into the other space.

By applying duraseal to the courtyard tiles and using a squeegee of warm grey paint to capture the surface, she is able to bring the surface inside and adorn the walls of the studio space. Inevitably, through the vehicle of Simcox herself, a human, organic and kinetic element is transferred onto the industrial texture. This also occurs as she paints onto vinyl on the breeze-block brick surfaces. The brick outlines are clearly visible but so is the curving of the squeegee held by the artist's hand; so is the dripping of the paint and the inconsistencies of pressure.

Simcox's work derives its meaning from the materials and processes that, in creating it, are employed. The Duraseal creates painterly illusions that cover adhesive factory-made building materials. The process creates dynamism and aesthetic, visual texture. The exhibit is not tactile, but serves to satisfy aesthetically. The sewn pouf installed outside on the courtyard as a means of creating some indoor space outside, invites touching and invites collapsing into - and yet its purpose is derived from the way it has escaped its boundaries as a indoor household item. More so, I think it becomes a significant element of hand-made labour nestled amongst the rigid lines of modern architecture.

There is a transience in the works. By imprinting - a nostalgic act for many people who have made rubbings of various textures when they were children - there is a documentation of textures that may one day be destroyed or changed. The imprints capture these surfaces as they were in one particular moment and then they are solidified as documented art. The textural repetition, created by her squeegee impressions of the various textures, prompts the viewer to consider the spaces they occupy and the textures that surround. These are textures that may once have resided in many people's blind-spots and are now being elevated through process. Yet, in repetition there is an emphasis on Simcox's role as artist - the way her hand is at work through each application of paint and the naturalistic movements juxtaposed against modern industrial and commercial spaces.

Selene Simcox in Residence at Manthel van Reijn Studio 2011

Selene Simcox Jump 2011 Acrylic on vinly 1220 x 300mm

Selene Simcox Repeat Repeat & Sideway Glances Acrylic on vinyl 1080 x 1240mm

Selene Simcox Repeat & Jump 2 2011 Acrylic on vinyl

Selene Simcox Sidewalk 2011 Acrylic on Duraseal on board 800 diameter

Selene Simcox Sidewalk 2 2011 Acrylic on Duraseal on board 570 x 600mm

Selene Simcox Untitled 2011 Acrylic on vinyl, polystyrene balls 1300mm diameter

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