From Sharne Wolff…
Aside from being one of the most satirised images ever, Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Jesus and his disciples, The Last Supper, must be one of the most influential. Over their recent four-month residency at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery artists Ken + Julia Yonetani have recreated a 21st century version of The Last Supper meets Dutch still-life – a 9 metre installation of sculpted table objects and food, all made entirely from NaCl (salt).
The Last Supper is made in the wake of the pair’s continuing practice that considers the impact of humans on the environment. Like the magic of Alex Seton’s ‘soft marble’ sculpture, the Yonetani’s salt objects, cast from around 1.5 tonnes of salt found in the Murray Darling region of western NSW, defy their fragile appearance. The pure white sculptures are actually harder than concrete, extremely tough and laden with cryptic meaning. The collaborative team view their work with salt, via its association with Australia’s salinity crisis, as a metaphor for the “death of the landscape and the death of ecosystems”. As a food, salt is essential for the preservation of life while it’s also a silent killer. The Yonetani’s vanitas-style food bowl reflects the artists’ concern with toxic foods being produced and consumed in affluent human societies.
Until May 18
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gymea
Pic: Ken and Julia Yonetani, The Last Supper, 2013. (installation detail). Courtesy the artists.