Some Rocky Socket

Art Life , Exhibitions Mar 02, 2015 1 Comment

From Andrew Frost

They the sea is in the blood. Artist Deb Mansfield worked as a sailor between 1996 and 1999, a tradition that she carried on from her grandfather, who served a captain in the British navy in command of a mine sweeper and then, post war, as the designer of experimental sea craft. For Mansfield, that story forms the basis of the imagery in her exhibition Some Rocky Socket [a a title that must surely win a prize for originality], a curious mixture of archival imagery and LED lights in a series of photo-tapestries.


In Mansfield’s exhibition, the work has a quirky sense of humour – her portrait of her grandfather looks remarkably like another infamous portrait of a celebrated sea dog in a cable knit sweater [hello Old Man and The Sea], while the cameo treatment of a mine being detonated at sea is both homely and startling. As the exhibition blurb explains “Some Rocky Socket continues Mansfield’s research into island and ocean geographies – as a way of investigating the nature of boundaries and exploratory travel.” It seems that within the still photo there lies an almost limitless ocean of possibilities.

Until March 19
Wellington Street Projects, Chippendale
Pic: Deb Mansfield, Some Rocky Socket, 2014. Photo-tapestry, resin, LED lighting. 60 x 60cm. Edition of 2.

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Andrew Frost

One Comments

  1. The phrase “some rocky socket” appears in the song “Nautical Disaster” on The Tragically Hip’s album “Day for Night” released by Universal Music in 1994. (Lyrics by Gordon Downey)

    “I had this dream where I relished the fray
    and the screaming filled my head all day.
    It was as though I’d been spit here, settled
    in, into the pocket of a lighthouse on some
    rocky socket, off the coast of France, dear.”

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