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Madison-Lee Andrew

Caroline Chisholm College

THE BLOCK

Ceramics

Clay

My body of work uses structures to investigate the disparity between human agency – the ability individuals have to make their own choices – and influential elements such as social class, gender, religion and ethnicity. The work is a scathing social commentary on 'The Block', Redfern, owned by the Aboriginal Housing Company. An environment that was once filled with vibrancy and culture is now dedicated to new development plans. Using clay and ceramic construction I juxtaposed organic and geometric slab structures to create forms that represent the significance of the existing Indigenous and international communities as opposed to the new proposed development.

My artmaking practice has been influenced by the study and interpretation of the following artists: Matt Adnate, Christian Boltanski, Mehwish Iqbal.

Marker's Commentary

References to the recent controversial development in Redfern’s Block and the instability of fast urban redevelopment are issues explored in this highly accomplished series of ceramic forms. Distorted vessel forms representing unstable high-rise buildings appear to be supported by welded pieces of construction steel to create the illusion of instability but are, in fact, skilfully constructed and balanced forms. Stamped and pierced representations of windows are juxtaposed with sculptural snakelike forms that contrast with the uniformity of the repeated and regular grid of windows.

This work utilises a rich range of surface colour and treatments including confidently applied dry brush underglaze, stencilled colour, oxide washes and reflective glazed sections. Colours make reference to the land and indigenous colours as well as the reflective glass surfaces on urban buildings.