Friday, April 29, 2011

Alexander Seton artist studio visit - 29 April

For me, the great thing about the MCA young ambassador program is the artist studio visit. This was confirmed again by the trip out to Alexander Seton's studio in Enmore. I was familiar with Alexander's work from his shows at Sullivan & Strumpf. He is a sculptor that works in marble so not surprisingly there was marble dust everywhere - and that is not a euphemism. He is currently working on his next solo show at Jan Murphy gallery up in BrisVegas and from what I saw it looks like it will be a cracker.

Alex's work uses a lot of visual tricks - you want to touch the marble to make sure it really is stone. One work is carved so that a sheet looks draped over a body. In another corner there is a sheet draped over a machine - another clever sculpture? No that was a real sheet, but you had to look twice. My favourite pieces were his flag series - we are big fans of flags over here at Big Lamington. I preferred the ones that he had hanging off little metal poles - he has also painted some symbols on them. He has another flag work inspired by the Afghanistan war - 23 folded Australian flags (to represent the war casualties). These are marble carvings of how an Australian flag is officially folded to give to the family of the dead. Not sure if that is sold as one job lot of 23 or by the piece. Will have to email Jan closer to the time and find out. There is a lot of work in these and they get pretty pricey so am not sure Alex is going to grace the Big Lamington collection anytime soon but they do get the tick of approval.

Points - 3 to Alex, a very gracious host with an interesting little studio. One thing I learnt was that he has a couple of assistants who help out and do specific tasks and even some of the flag multiples. 2 points to the Hon RJ Hawke, who has recorded a video message for the upcoming show. I am a diehard liberal but even I don't mind the Silver Budgie. 1 point must go to the assistants who were thanked by Alex but don't themselves get all that much limelight.

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