Reaching for the Moon (As Far as the Eye Can See)

Reaching for the Moon (as far as the eye can see) vintage curtains, thread, metal,

mineral pigments, makeup, paint, rock, light, 280 x 160 x 110cm

Gazing through a domestic lens our understanding of the world beyond is both revealed and concealed through ebbs and flows of knowledge. Reaching for the Moon reflects upon the complexities of our interrelationships with spaces and how cultural and social perspectives transform our experience of place.  

Vintage curtains and their metaphorical associations with the discarded, the everyday, the body and gender are utilised to investigate the phenomena of viewpoint. Constructive and destructive making traditions examine tensions between the visible and the felt, interior and exterior space, social realities and romantic ideals that influence our perception and knowledge of our worlds.  
The moon is often cast as a cultural mirror upon which we project notions of hope, aspirational dreams, escape, utopia, spirituality, quests for discovery or a desire for universal conquest. It’s a talisman that connects us all but we also experience it differently, depending on our cultural and social veiwpoint. Gazing upwards at the sky our concept of the moon never wanders too far from the worlds we know best.
 
 

Rise and Fall

 

Suzanne Davey, Rise and Fall, textiles, thread, ink, 180cm x 130cm x 40cm

Rise and Fall is a textile work created in response to recent political storms and to the rise of the right.  It wafts and wanes in the lightest breeze. Exhibited in Four Elements: Water, Warringah Creative Space.

Suzanne Davey, Rise and Fall, installation view.

Artist Statement:

Tides rise and fall, waves rise and fall, storms rise up….. and fall away.
Water rises and falls with its own agency and we rise and fall in its wake.
 
The rhythms of ocean systems mirror social and political storms we face now; the rise of the right and political aggression and the resultant flows of people in the wake of these surges.
 
Webs of crossings and traversing, flows and networks of social relations, our fragility in the face of storms and the constancy of change are investigated through textiles. Utilising the language of sails and flags time and human action is made visible as the surface is ripped, pierced, punctured, repaired and stained and new connections are made.
 
Together with water we rise and fall, face change and unknown futures.

 

The Gravity of Moments

Suzanne Davey, The Gravity of Moments, fabric, steel, resin, 350cm x 350cm x 350cm

The Gravity of Moments is a large suspended installation that flutters in the breeze. The work is featured in Sculpture in the Glen, along with 50 local, national and international artists work and includes small indoor and large outdoor sculptures in a variety of media. The exhibition is curated by Penny Philpott and celebrates Glen Street Theatre’s 30th anniversary. It opens 5 September and continues untill 25 October 2015. The ethereal sculpture responds to its theatrical site and bushland gardens.

The Unfurling

Suzanne Davey The Unfurling 10m x 3m x 2m, recycled clothing, resin, steel

The Unfurling is a large scale site responsive installation of suspended body ‘voids’ created from recyled clothing and resin, harnessing wind and light. The work was exhibited as part of the North Sydney Art Prize 2015 at the Coal Loader Waverton.  The site is located on the shores of Sydney harbour and examines the coast as a place of sanctuary.


The Unfurling is a response to the debate surrounding vulnerable populations arriving on Australian shores and beyond, and the human costs. Individual rights and national interests are given precedence over collective human rights. Tragedy grips people dreaming of sanctuary but who are subjects to forces beyond their control through war, politics and discrimination.
Clothing is utilised as a social and cultural signifier of identity, memory and psychological ties with others. The clothes become traces of the bodies that once occupied them, ‘voids’, and on mass symbolise the collective struggles of vulnerable people. 

Wind choreographs movement in the collective and subjects them to elemental forces beyond their control. The sculptures are translucent and reflect natural light as they move.

The work was inpired by the poems of Mena Johnson, a poet that I collaborated with for the On Islands project at Eramboo Artist Environment.

The Unfurling installation detail On Islands project

The Unfurling installation view On Islands project

The Unfurling installation video showing movement, On Islands project

The Unfurling installation details On Islands project

The Unfurling bushand installation view On Islands project

Groundswell Public Art Installation

Suzanne Davey, Groundswell, recycled clothing, resin, paint, steel, 350cm x 800cm x 400cm

Groundswellis an energetic public art installation created for the ENLIVEN festival, Mona Vale. The work was commissioned by Pittwater Council and was made in partnership with the charity Lifeline.

Made from donated recycled clothing Groundswellis a suspended installation made from pants of all shapes and sizes. Lots of legs appear to be surging forward, walking and running, and hopefully creating a ripple in the local community.
The work draws inspiration from the site. Davey states, “ As soon as I saw the Lifeline Centre in Bungan Laneway and its recycled clothing I knew exactly what I wanted to do. To me Lifeline is all about reaching out to life and connecting with others for support. Clothing is all about people and living.”

Special thanks to Lifeline for their generous donation of clothing.

Groundswell installation , shadow detail
Family enjoying the Groundswell installation at the ENLIVEN festival
Rear view detail, Groundswell installation
Detail, Groundswell

Window reflection, Groundswell

A Thousand Steps: Keeping Company Manly Art Gallery and Museum

Suzanne Davey, A Thousand Steps, fabric, wood, bamboo, 350 x 120 x 400 cm


A Thousand Steps is an installation created for the Manly Art Gallery & Museum ‘Keeping Company’ exhibition. New works were made in response to a range of artworks held in the Manly Art Gallery & Museum collection. A broad range of art media was represented including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, printmaking, textiles and glass. A Thousand Steps responds to Paola Talberts photograph, Kairos (moment of truth), 2000.


Paola Talbert, Kairos (Moment of truth), 2000, Type C LED print, 47 x 74cm,
Manly Art Gallery & Museum collection purchased 2004

Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greekword meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). Signifies a time between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens.

Artist Statement

I was immediately drawn to Paola Talberts work, Kairos. The sensuality of the image with its dreamy, floating figure catching her breath and her rich and moody use of light and transparency all had great appeal. I have responded to the work both materially, through the use of fabric and conceptually, by exploring journeys and transition points. Wings have long been metaphors for our desires to explore, take flight, and soar to new heights. A Thousand Steps marks our day to day hopes and struggles as we journey through life.


Suzanne Davey, A Thousand Steps, fabric, wood, bamboo, 350 x 120 x 400 cm

Suzanne Davey, A Thousand Steps, fabric, wood, bamboo, 350 x 120 x 400 cm

Concept proposal drawing

On the Way to Ithaca: HIDDEN Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk 2013

Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca, fabric, steel, bamboo, 320 x 350 x 750cm

HIDDEN

On the Way to Ithaca was created for the fifth HIDDEN Rookwood Sculpture Walk held at the Rookwood Cemetery; the largest working cemetery in the southern hemisphere. The exhibition was curated by Cassandra Hard Lawrie. 40 selected artists responded to themes appropriate to the site such as life, love, death, loss, memory and mortality as well as the culture around memorial, eulogy, burial and ceremony.  



ARTIST STATEMENT

Have Ithaca always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years……..

Constantine P Cavafy

However long our life may be our journey is punctuated by many beginnings and ends. These moments are marked in funerary architecture and memorial landscaping by gates, arches and avenues. On the Way to Ithaca is an ethereal response to these forms as we travel between our first and last breaths; our lives shaped by our ties and connections to one another. The installation aims to explore the tension between life and death, and the fragility of life, as we journey towards Ithaca.
Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca, installation detail

Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca

Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca, installation detail
Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca

Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca, installation view from the All Souls Chapel
CREATIVE PROCESS

Suzanne Davey, On the Way to Ithaca proposal drawing

On the Way to Ithaca, developing the work in studio

On the Way to Ithaca, installation on site

Wind Songs: Art In Odd Places





















WIND SONGS is a public art project created by Suzanne Davey, Christina Frank and Lisa Marshall for Art in Odd Places Australia 2013 exhibited 14-15 September Dee Why Beach, 
21-22 September Manly.

WIND SONGS is a dynamic, colourful installation that uses an everyday object, the humble umbrella, and transforms it from the ordinary into the extraordinary. A mass of umbrellas have been de-constructed and re-configured in new and surprising ways. The ‘fly away’ work responds directly to the elemental landscape of Manly and Dee Why. Floating in the sea breeze it sings songs about fragility, struggles and the power of transformation.




ART IN ODD PLACES is an arts project exploring public space founded and directed by New York artist Ed Woodham. Three American and 25 Australian artists explore the many meanings of the theme, Number. From synchronised swimming, performance, sculpture, installation each artist has responded to the notion of Number in individual ways. The project was a collaboration between Manly Council, Warringah Council and Eramboo Artist Environment.


Wind Songs Dee Why Beach

Wind Songs Dee Why

Wind Songs Manly Espalanade, aquarium

Wind Songs Manly 

Project Rationale: Umbrellas are utilitarian objects charged with memories and a myriad of metaphorical possibilities. Nostalgia for summer holidays at the beach, fresh sea breezes, life saving flags, experiences of wild storms, rain and wind and our basic human need for shelter and protection are all evoked by the humble umbrella.
Umbrellas are also delicate and fragile objects. In strong winds umbrellas have a tendency to ‘fly away’ and de-construct. On windy days at the beach runaway umbrellas cartwheel dangerously across the sand. On wild wet days locations such as the Manly Corso are littered with discarded rain umbrellas, sad and forlorn, inside out and broken.
The installation is a large colourful, geometric canopy/banner/structure constructed from found and collected umbrellas and arranged together in a tessellated pattern. The installation responds directly to sea breezes, creates bold shadows patterns on surfaces and creatively expresses the umbrella’stendency to ‘fly away’ in response to wind. Through its dynamic composition, its re-construction and final transformation of multiple umbrellas into a new form Wind Songscan remind the viewer of…….
  • the fragility of life
  • being in the moment, the brevity of life
  • everyday struggles: weathering storms, the whirl of life, the risk of the things we depend on de-constructing and flying away.
  • transformation and re-ordering eg: moving through major personal changes or crises
  • memories and nostalgia for summer holidays, childhood, beach days

Wind Songs project proposal drawing

Configuring Wonder: Sculpture at Scenic World

Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 8 m x 6 m x 1 m 

Configuring Wonder is an installation that responds to the world heritage site of Scenic World (Blue Mountains, Australia) as a tourist attraction, a natural ‘wonder’, and a delicate ecosystem. It was created for ‘Sculpture at Scenic World 2013’ and exhibited along with the work of 35 other selected Australian and International artists. 

Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder,  fabric, bamboo, sticks, 8 m x 6 m x 1 m

Classical notions of beauty include three ’ingredients’: symmetry, proportion and harmony. These notions are also principles of composition throughout art history and abundantly evident in the natural world. Configuring Wonderapplies these principles and explores the discord between notions of beauty and wonder and the use of nature by man. Using the ever present polygon in nature as the foundation for multiple forms they are distorted by the straining of delicate sticks against fabric, tied and tethered all while awkwardly ‘performing’ for the viewer. Between the large number of forms, and their interactions with the flora of the rain forest there is an uncomfortable striving for balance and equilibrium amongst excess (the golden mean).


Suzanne Davey, Configuring Wonder, fabric, bamboo, sticks, paint,  8 m x 6 m x 1 m


The work integrates closely with the site, allowing ferns and small trees to protrude through the installation. Over 60 fabric sculptures are configured in a large diamond shape covering 24 square metres and suspended on a wire net above the floor of the rain forest.

Configuring Wonder, detail of installation unit, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 80 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm


The fabric sculptures are varied in size and shape: some are tethered to bamboo frames and stretched and contorted; others are attached to a golden framework with sticks pushing and distorting the surface. In sunlight the forms are semi-translucent with the outline of delicate sticks visible through the fabric.

Configuring Wonder, detail of installation unit, fabric, sticks, bamboo, 65 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm
Configuring Wonder, detail of fabric sculpture units for installation


The installation was created in response to a site visit in 2012 and took into account the unique physical and aesthetic qualities of its location.


Rainforest site for Configuring Wonder
Configuring Wonder installation in progress