From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Deb Mansfield’s landscapes and still lifes are defined by process. Mansfield began her career working with photographic liquid emulsion and architecture; chemically exposing large panoramic photographs in-situ. These exposed surfaces drew landscapes through bricks and mortar to push at the perceived limits of photographic scale and surface. Photomedia is the term often used to describe her work, yet it is a categorisation that fails to articulate the nuanced federation of her chosen mediums. Mansfield’s photographs, tapestries, installations and photo-tapestries reflect on their own divisions, becoming visual portmanteaus.
In And dive into the sea, the artist uses images of island crossings and space travel sourced from the internet as the subject for a series of photo-tapestries. Mansfield is drawn to borderlands—the distance between islands or the dislocation of the body in flight. As zones of promise, these places are lacking in certainties and exactitudes, becoming willing repositories for myth and legend. The Archive (in this case the internet) is also important as a liminal zone in Mansfield’s work. She sorts, in accordance with her own distinct principles, through the fertile dump of the Internet, appropriating images for her catalogue of in-betweens. Fabricated via a made-to-order-online process, the tapestries themselves sit at the intersection of art and commerce; they are landscapes on demand, stilled life for the armchair traveller.
Until October 25
Stills Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Deb Mansfield, All you fishermen, 2014. Photo-tapestry, 62 x 82cm. Image courtesy of the artist and STILLS Gallery, Sydney.