IMAGE > Carolyn Menzies working in her studio.
Photograph: Mathieu Vendeville. Image courtesy of the artist.
Carolyn Menzies is a visual artist who lives and works in Melbourne. Her sculptural forms emerge from the union of the industrial and the handmade. Her works express a concern for the relentless industrialization and urbanization of modern life. Tenderly crafting the abrasive steel wool and mesh she creates a more mutable man made world.
Born in New Zealand, she studied sculpture at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. A travel grant allowed her to travel to the UK where she completed her MA in Fine Arts at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
Although her materials are diverse and unusual, the constant that runs through her work is a fascination with the processes of
transformation. Carolyn creates delicacy of mass and volume through an unpredictable use of materials such as steel wool and mesh. She sees
her strong bias towards materiality as her true north.
‘Stitch by stitch, circle by circle, weaving is like the creation of life, all things are connected”. Auntie Ellen Trevorrow, 2003
Although predominantly using Ngarrindjeri weaving styles taught to her by Elder and mentor Ellen Trevorrow, Helen’s work has departed from the use of native grasses in favour of dyed Madagascan raffia, paper twine and wire. Helen’s sculptural work is concerned with exploring the complimentary and dynamic relationship between colour and form.
Her weaving draws inspiration from the vibrant colours and circular forms of ocean creatures; enlarged photographs of plankton are a reference point for creating sculptural forms. She is currently working on incorporating discarded plastics from St Kilda beach into her work as an exploration of the possibilities of transforming waste materials into art and raising awareness of the harm done by littering.
IMAGE > Helen Philipp, Three Squids [detail], 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.
IMAGE > Brock Q. Piper, The grief of whats given, the price of it all, Mixed Media.
Image courtesy of the artist and bluethumb.com.au
Themes within my work explore personal narrative of important events in my life. These are intertwined with the historical and mythological ideologies of the locations that they occur in. Exploring the Indigenous mythos and relationships to the land that are embedded in the geography and culture of today. It is a vital component of my work to engage in the layering of cultural and mythological motifs and visual design elements into the work. This builds up a visual narrative, to illuminate the stories hidden within.
Lucinda Strahan is a writer and researcher of 'expanded nonfiction' an interdisciplinary writing practice that spans journalism and arts criticism, auto-ethnographic and personal essaying, arts editing and publishing, academic writing, and experimental literary-visual essaying. Lucinda leads Writing in the Expanded Field, writing program of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and is editor of its digital journal. Lucinda has previously also been Writer in Residence residence at Grey Projects, Singapore. She teaches creative and professional writing in the Professional Communication program at RMIT.
IMAGE > Portrait of Lucinda Strahan. Image courtesy of nonfictionlab.net.au