New artworks to the Collection, Reform V1 by Laurie Oxenford and Border Crossing by Pamela See were both part of a state-wide call to commission QLD artists to reinterpret the humble traffic cone into contemporary art forms for the recent Constructing Landscape : Urban Visions exhibition curated by Jo Duke at Caloundra Regional Gallery in 2020.
The exhibition invited artists to explore and re-imagine our current landscape and our relationship with it. It also included a collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures drawn from the Sunshine Coast Art Collection and private collections of artists and collectors, investigating both the celebratory and condemning aspects of urban sprawl.
The Gallery regularly works with contemporary Australian artists to present in-house curated exhibitions to showcase the Region as part of its annual exhibition program. This in turn enables acquisitions and direct donations of artworks by exhibiting artists to the Collectionis a key means for the Collection to build its contemporary art holdings.
Gold Coast emerging artist, curator and producer, Laurie Oxenford’s adaptable practice combines a range of contemporary art-making techniques including painting, assemblage and deconstruction, altering recycled industrial materials or found functional objects to create new sculptures or installations. Referencing minimalist, assemblage, Arte Provera and conceptual art movements, Oxenford explores waste facilities, second-hand outlets and industrial landscapes that offer recycled, environmentally affected functional items such as metal signs, industrial materials, and everyday objects. These items inspire, direct and become the starting point for her creative process.
Oxenford explores how the context for these objects affects their meaning and in turn how they change the space they inhabit. She considers how context and curation establishes new dialogues between artworks, spaces and audiences, often commenting on society’s relationship with the material in art, sustainability and constructs of conceptual meaning.
Born in Brisbane, multi-disciplinary artist, Pamela See (Xue Mei-Ling) applies Chinese papercutting techniques in a variety of post-digital contexts. These inlcude installation, animation, sculpture, textiles and printmaking. See’s technique is known to resemble the style of Foshan papercutting and applying this to a variety of industrial media including plastic, paper, glass, acrylic, metal and thin foils. Like the fore-bearers of her craft, See’s compositions are a form of narrative inquiry, exploring the migrant experience using depictions of flora, fauna and water motifs.
Pamela See’s traffic cone commission Border Crossing responds to the materiality of the traffic cone and its role as a barrier. On the 26 March 2020, the border between Queensland and New South Wales was closed in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The butterfly motif has been hand-cut by the artist and its patterns have been appropriated from the Monarch butterfly – a species that colonised the Asia-Pacific during the nineteenth century. In the installation, the cut-out butterfly is then placed on the floor to sit beside the traffic cone. It is symbolic of the death to human migration, and the introduction of milkweed, by gold prospectors, enabled the butterflies to proliferate in Australia.
Both artworks have a wonderful connection to the Sunshine Coast through the recent exhibition at Caloundra Regional Gallery. For the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, the artworks boost the Collection’s representation of women artists from Queensland.
View both new artworks on the Sunshine Coast Art Collection’s online database.