From Sharne Wolff…
In science fiction to ‘terraform’ a planet is to transform it from a hostile environment into one suitable for supporting human life. In emerging artist, Jamie North‘s latest exhibition Terraforms, the artist has produced a number of sculptures by adapting this idea. By taking the ‘dead’ and somewhat ugly waste products of industry (marble waste, steel slag, coal ash) North has recast them into tall layered columns of solid matter in shades of grey and white. Several columns are paired as if in conversation. Each is inhabited by several living species of native Australian plants and/or Spanish moss with the end result a fusion of opposites – strong but delicate, old and new, controlled and wild. To look at, North’s sculptures conjure up images like the ruins of Pompeii, the old colonial buildings of Yangon or the Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider) temple of Angkor Wat – all places where nature has reclaimed its superiority over the ruins of previous human existence, and reminders of the fact that mankind is a small part of a much larger and older ecosystem. In the gallery alongside, North displays two large photographic prints. Entitled Moving Mountains both resemble alien landforms but, in fact, are images of the steel slag mountains at Port Kemblafrom which much of the exposed aggregate was drawn for the sculptural pieces.
Until July 5
Sarah Cottier Gallery, Paddington
Pic: Jamie North, The Inconstant Ones, 2014. Cement, marble waste, steel slag, coal ash, plastic fibre, tree fern slab, various Australian native plants and Spanish moss, 223 x 26 x 26cm and 191 x 26 x 26cm. Courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery.