The Abbotsford Convent is a place where people come to watch, to work, and to reflect. For artist Katie Lee, the Convent is like an archetypal Town Square, where people gather for many purposes.
With this in mind, Katie will push, manoeuvre and display a series of sculptural objects in and around the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, using the buildings, trees, infrastructure and businesses as the context for the work.
Over the course of a fortnight, you will be able to watch Katie’s work play out, wondering if she is just another person going about their business at the Convent; part of the working community passing through the Town Square.
About 'Cross-Section' – Artist's Statement
My work is a response to the complexity of urban space – spaces that I see as full of dynamic, tangled interactions between humans, animals, forms, architecture and natural forces (wind, entropy, chaos) – spaces that are full of visible and invisible histories that leave their trace; on architecture, the earth, the forms we use; in bodies and in memories.
I will push, manoeuvre and display a series of sculptural objects in and around the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, using the buildings, trees, infrastructure and businesses as the context for the work. There will also be a series of video works nestled throughout the main Convent building with footage repeating these movements. Rather than have people encounter the artwork as static objects in a gallery, I hope they might be noticed in glimpses and glances – as accumulated fragments.
Recently I have been thinking about how Town Squares reveal this entanglement. They are places people go to watch life unfold, a contained field of interaction.
The Abbotsford Convent operates very much like this archetypal Town Square. It is a place where people gather for various purposes and for varying lengths of time. It is both a working space and a space of recreation; a space that people come to watch, to work, to reflect; a natural amphitheatre; full of life. It is the home of the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation and Cultural Heritage Council. The buildings wear their history on their sleeve. This is the cross-section of visitors, of activities, of country. This ‘Cross-Section,’ is the work.
About the Artist
Katie Lee’s work ranges from large-scale architecturally-sited installations to small, whimsical ink drawings; however, common to all of her works is a preoccupation with ‘the way things are’. This preoccupation manifests in her sculptural work as forms resembling familiar objects, such as furniture, tools or instruments. Recurring materials include hanging lengths of rubber, steel bars, stools, ceramic balls and timber planks. In these forms and materials, Lee finds a reflection of our built environment alongside their possible psychological and embodied affect.
Lee has exhibited in Australia and internationally since 2005. Highlights include: 'Chair in Cooperation with Orange', Margaret Lawrence Gallery, 2015; 'Inclinations', Sutton Gallery, 2014; 'Collected Objects, Varied Materials', Shepparton Art Museum, 2013; and 'We Will Never Be Still', Dance Massive, 2013. She is currently completing a PhD at the VCA and teaches Sculpture and Expanded Studio Practice at the VCA and RMIT.
This project was proudly commissioned by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation.
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