Sealed earth

Art Life , Exhibitions Sep 21, 2015 No Comments

From Rebecca Gallo

Harriet Body’s latest exhibition, Sealed Earth, features an accumulation of clay objects that the artist created by grasping handfuls of clay each day throughout one financial year. The objects themselves bear the imprint of the artist’s hand, and each is slightly different: the volume of clay grasped, the time it was held in the hand and the level of pressure applied all contribute to the forms produced. Glazed and fired and standing upright, the objects invite pareidolia, their organic indentations recalling other forms in nature. They are portraits of an action, a negative space and the passage of time.

Harriet Body, Body Bark, Kudos

Harriet Body, Body Bark, Kudos

Durational work often has strict rules, boundaries and projected outcomes, but for Body it seems to be a gentler proposition. This becomes evident when you do the calculations, and realise that the 1720 objects translate to approximately 4.7 ‘grasps’ per day. Rather than a test or a burden, Body’s process is an attempt to turn ideas and actions into objects, with the deliberate span of a financial year alluding to the transformation of conceptual art into a profitable concern. Each ‘grasp’ is selling for $6 a piece: if they all sell, the total will bring Body’s salary up to the National Association for the Visual Arts’ standard for artist wages. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Until September 27
Wellington St Projects, Chippendale
Pic: Harriet Body, Sealed Earth (detail), 2014/15, the results of grasping clay daily for one financial year then selling the results at six dollars a piece, white stoneware with terra sigillata, dimensions variable.

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Rebecca Gallo

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