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hushed pupils
Fort Delta, Melbourne
September 21 - October 19, 2018

Exhibition text (Spencer Lai)

To entertain an idea is to allow actions, complete with processional series of events, to drift in one's mind …articulated joints on a marionette (puppet) allow the figure to become poseable - it is arguable that the marionette will become more human-seeming when equipped with the dynamism afforded by the pivoting of limbs, cartilage and flesh in a ball socket turn in symbiosis… accessibility and interest are enhanced with the new-found expression of movement as if it is an old hat to wear with humbleness…


The visual cadence of ornament, complete with flourishes, observe a playful relationship with one another - such and such is dated circa 1940s, or, such and such was most likely utilised as… the salesperson and customer postulate various narratives to trace the histories of its production, it’s use - these discussions skirt around outmoded material use, the likeliness of the probably harmful vapours emitted in the production of Bakelite necklaces stir things within me and so then I think of the dormant asbestos lying silently within houses, its particles ready to be cast off, released like passionate emission spores to be inhaled by soft passivity of human or non-human lungs.


A student is cajoled, raising … behaviours are mirrored and the dynamics in the group become jostled - much like blurring of motion when looking outside the windows of a fast-paced train. If fast enough, the world outside of the vehicle becomes a series of lines.


We often speak of clean design lines as a characteristic of a sleekness. Lines can inform boundaries, indicate seclusion, occlusion, emphasis… primary shapes, such as a line, can be combined with secondary objects to formulate a more sophisticated and intricate design.


The poverty of expression , and emptying of contents, fell commerce





Sometime during my adolescence, I am looking at antiques with my mother I feel the eyes of older men leering at me with the same treatment as if browsing for  thoughtful gift or a new addition to pre-existing home - eyes scan a patina of sorts, noting aberrations, imperfections… -, a ravenous gawk paired with an unenthused lean-in towards me, the way a flower may grow towards a light source… as if the combination of refined thirst becomes a more subdued, or elevated temperament.


Dioramas can be utilised as a training device and .. as if to say “look, here it is. It is all here for you to see, for you to gain knowledge. I am imparting knowledge, to you; This is how it works”.


Reluctance as a trained gesture, some sort of attitude that is taught and then shown off to others as if it were created solely within a vacuum. Peers display new attitudes in confluence with a new outfit, this is mostly tied or related to the appearance of a person, and through clothing — an accentuation of self-expression.


A child with no name: a newborn baby bears no language, it expresses, mutely, concepts of TRUTH and BEAUTY from inception. An infant has no answer or question and that is why some houses are adorned with cherubs, punctuated with ceramic cupids and knick-knacks on once-dusted shelves of deep mahogany. A statuette in cold ceramic depicts a pair of apparently infatuated infants are seated on a park bench, gazing into each others hand-painted soulless pupils - did the hand who painted these dots, these  simple pupils forget the warmth of love? The touch of intimacy? Is the repetitive nature of warehouse line assembly production worth contemplating in a world on its way out? A shivering and dying world? The solemn and lifeless breath of Mother Nature blows a darkened wind over a planet riddled with many imperfections, many fires and such..? Does this hand present to you adorned with jewellry, with fine jewels, fabulous diamonds? So such… a simple band of silver on the marriage finger, yes, I can so see.



hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


Navy (parallel bars), 2017
Synthetic felt, adhesive


untitled, 2018 (with Liam Osbourne)

Timber, plaster, acetate, ink, antique glass Chinese snuff bottle


blue (flowers in vase) (after Vignes), 2018/1972
Synthetic felt and adhesive


orange (A couple making love on a bench beside a stream on a summer evening, fireflies dancing around them and a stone lantern glows nearby)(after Harunobu), 2018/c.1725 - 1770
Synthetic felt and adhesive


blue (devices...workings of a room, figures in various poses) (after Joseph Schneller), 2018/c.1910
Synthetic felt, adhesive


burnt sienna (maniac on the subway trolley) (after Klossowski), 2018/1978
Synthetic felt and adhesive


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view

image_6483441 (2).JPG

Scene, 2018

Balsa wood, adhesive, mink button


pen, detail image, 2018

Muji storage containers, weasel ball toys, animal jawbone, handsaw, Ralph Lauren Polo long-sleeved shirt borrowed from father, batteries,  antique erotic bone carving, balsa wood, mid-century Japanese vase, pussy willow branches


mauve (seated figures within institution, sometime they share meals together), 2018/c 1890
Synthetic felt, adhesive


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


Feature (a simple way to make an impression upon a new acquaintance is to compliment them, as if they were offering something to you in the first place), 2018

c. 1940s - 50s ceramic wall vase, 1940s Bakelite tray, various beads of coral and plastic, balsa wood, adhesive, antique hairpin, ping pong balls, dress pins, pig snouts, cardboard, paper, Prada shoe box, plastic, packing tape; adjacent: uranium glass Depression era vase, water, cherry tree


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


chest, 2018

Modified Shrek tin lunchbox, branding tool, balsa wood, plastic, dress pins, ping pong balls, wire, vintage resin beads, seahorse skeleton, acetate, antique wall planter, anthurium, water


chest, detail image, 2018


grey (St. Nicholas, a protective figure shelters adolescents) (after Klossowski), 2018/1977
Synthetic felt, adhesive


untitled, 2018

Balsa wood, adhesive, Dior sunglasses fragment, dress pins, plastic tubing, pussy willow bud, crab claw, various beads, sequin


untitled, 2018

Balsa wood, adhesive, crab claw, pussy willow bud, synthetic jade, acetate, ink, various beads


hushed pupils, 2018, installation view


untitled, 2018

Balsa wood, adhesive, crab claw, dress pins, acetate, ink, various beads, texta


untitled, 2018

Balsa wood, adhesive, dress pins, dried seahorse, counterfeit Marc Jacobs Daisy ornament, texta


Green (scene within a village, goods are produced while others copulates), 2018/c.1700

Synthetic felt, adhesive


device/instrument, 2018

Toy tambourine, counterfeit Tweety Bird pyjama trousers, pig snouts

Documentation courtesy of Clare Rae 

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