Thursday, November 28, 2013

Walk This Way
Judy Darragh

by: Kathryn Tsui

In Walk this way artist Judy Darragh constructs a new floor and wall based installation out of consumer by-products and everyday objects that are attacked with psychedelic colour.
Infamous for her resourceful use of cheap found materials, Darragh contorts these into new assemblages. As an artist, she observes how consumer society measures success on material wealth. By reusing low-cost throw-away objects she draws attention to this capitalist logic and subverts it. 

Just as the appearance of wealth through materialism is somewhat illusionary, so is another point of interest for the artist, Science Fiction. From this semi fictional world Darragh borrows visual metaphors and connotations.

Generic science fiction imagery of star scapes, radiating beams and brightly hued gradients invade the wall works. PVC banners that once advertised the latest film releases are no longer commercially relevant and have been repurposed with astral graffiti of neon coloured spray paint and grids of tape. 

These galactic wall works are analogue not digital, they are produced by hand and to the artist they take on a new form of futurism in reaction to an increasingly digital world. Darragh says, “they act as glitches like a manual low-fi process, breaking down the screen surface and undermining notions of technology.”

Meanwhile the installation crossing the floor is made out of low-fi and high tech materials. Bent industrially produced aluminium rods with strange growths and attachments of familiar household objects are given a new form of meaning. These highly animated foreign forms have human and bodily qualities, and observed closely we see the artist has used bandages, cotton wool, make-up sponges and inner soles from shoes. The inner sole or soul is a recurrent motif in this new exhibition titled Walk this way, in which the foot prints can represent the steps it takes to crossover into an alternative world or reality. 

Artist Biography
Auckland based artist Judy Darragh was born in Christchurch. She gained a Diploma in Visual Communication and Design from Wellington Polytechnic. She has exhibited widely and her works are held in various public collections including; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. In 2004 the Museum of New

Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa featured a major retrospective of her work curated by Natasha Conland and entitled Judy Darragh: So... you made it?. The artist has held many secondary and tertiary teaching positions including Henderson High School and Elam School of Fine Arts.  Darragh was also involved in the development of ARTSPACE, Auckland and artist run initiatives, Teststrip and Cuckoo. Judy Darragh is represented by Two Rooms Gallery, Auckland.

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