Opening 03.04.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 25.04.19 6-7pm
Since I was a small child, I’ve been fascinated by the inconsistent relationships humans have with other animals. We easily empathise with them on the one hand, but disengage on the other: denying them agency and treating them as objects. I use my ongoing practice to reciprocally investigate and challenge my own perceptions within a culture of conflicting truths. I’ve formed a specific sculptural language that gives communicable presence to the moment my conflicting perceptions and their accompanying sensations clash: The push and pull of empathy and disengagement that results in perceptual dissonance.
‘Invasive’ is the latest installation in this continuing exploration. In Australia, we have an interesting relationship with introduced species. Many that dominate the landscape today as pests or indentured species were brought over with the First Fleet as means to create industry. But, as species that didn’t evolve with the land, they have become another layer of forced environmental change that has had enduring consequences. Despite the mass destruction of complex ecosystems from the introduction of unsuitable livestock, crops, and farming methods onto an already well-managed continent, the husbandry of animals such as cows and sheep has become part of our national identity. A notion of taming a wild landscape that has endured.
In this immersive installation, the gallery is transformed into the interior of a small home where time and space have uncomfortably entangled to embody hypocrisies evident within our national identity. You’re invited to interact with the work and animal forms activated by breath, body warmth and displaced movement. Using a mix of found objects, bronze casts, electronics and printed motifs, the installation overlays time and place to express the need for human accountability and the painful complexity of animal and environmental ethics in Australia. Through these physical expressions of internal hypocrisies, I hope to create interactive spaces that, while uncomfortable, become their own questioning entities.
Rebecca Selleck is a Canberra-based emerging artist with a focus on interactive sculpture and installation. She completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts at the ANU School of Art with First Class Honours, majoring in Sculpture and Art Theory, and also holds a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Creative Writing and Literary Studies. She uses her practice to reciprocally investigate and challenge her own perceptions within a culture of conflicting truths. Her work overlays time and place to express the need for human accountability and the painful complexity of animal and environmental ethics in Australia. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the prestigious Peter and Lena Karmel Anniversary Prize for best graduating student at the ANU School of Art, and has exhibited in across Australia and in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Venice, Italy. She was a finalist in the inaugural 2017 Ramsay Art Prize at the Art Gallery of South Australia and in 2018 the Arte Laguna Prize in Venice, Italy; the Macquarie Art Prize; the Ravenswood Art Prize (Highly Commended); and the Churchie Art Prize. She is currently undertaking the ‘Art of the Threatened Species’ residency with Orana Arts and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage using embedded research to create work around the Eastern Bristlebird.