The repurposing of everyday objects with esoteric functions is a common theme in Gillespie's work, unifying the physical and spiritual worlds. Lawnmowers become hypnosis inducing musical instruments, scissor lifts become ornate bird like objects used in religious ceremony, and abacus become Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators. This relabelling of objects is fuelled by a fascination with the rise and fall of advanced ancient civilisations and the possibility of museums misinterpreting an object's function.
In these recent works, Gillespie uses the golden ratio in her dimensions, contemplating nature's perfection in mathematics and sacred geometry. Curved geometric shapes created from brass rods are framed by walnut and include found gumnut preserved in resin.
An interest in our position as cultural makers of the Asia-Pacific region inspires her choice of materials. The cast concrete bases ground the wooden piece in a contemporary time, with a nod to Brancussi. Through Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators, we contemplate the absurdity of humanity's obsession with numbers. Yet the laws of mathematics like the spiritual, remain true and infinite between universes, unlike physical matter. Attempting to count that which can't be counted becomes a poetic gesture.
Courtesy of The Vivian Gallery
walnut, brass, wooden beads, gumnuts, resin, wax, cast concrete
50 x 80 x 80 cm
Wanda Gillespie, in conversation with Professor Ian Howard, discusses her work Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculator (with Gumnut) 2. Recorded on 12 October 2019 at the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize exhibition, Woollahra Council.
Judges of the 2019 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Professor Ross Harley (Dean of the Faculty of Art & Design and UNSW Chair of Arts and Culture), Louise Herron AM (Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House) and Tim Ross (Design and Architecture advocate, Broadcaster, Author and Comedian).
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