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Experiments in Living [Melt]

Sammy Hawker

21.10.2021 - 27.11.2021

5 - Melt.jpg

Encompassing text, documentary video and negative prints produced in collaboration with the chemical activity of rain, hailstones, seawater and open flame, Hawker’s exhibition challenges our culture’s belief in human control of the natural world. 

 

Responding to the diverse meanings of ‘melt’, the artist presents a sequence of works embodying the tumultuous disruptions – personal, environmental, global – of recent months. Reflecting on experiences of vulnerability, anxiety and loss, Hawker proposes that such experiences open up possibilities for new practices of love and care.

 

Experiments in Living [Melt] presents outcomes from Hawker’s PhotoAccess 2021 Dark Matter residency.

Melt, 2020-2021, 6x6 photographic negative exposed to flame, pigment ink printed on archival Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm paper, 110cm x 110cm, edition 1/5 + 2APs signed and numbered

/mɛlt/
 

  • become liquified by heat

  • leave or disappear unobtrusively

  • dissolve in liquid

  • make or become more tender or loving

  • change or merge imperceptibly into (another form or state)

become liquified by heat

leave or disappear unobtrusively

dissolve in liquid

make or become more tender or loving

change or merge imperceptibly into

(another form or state)

Melt, 2021, 13 minutes, 14 seconds, Single-channel High Definition video, 16:9, colour, sound

Artist Statement

The past few years have challenged us to reconsider our illusion of control over the natural world. The veil of autonomy is starting to slip. 

 

Through the theme of 'Melt' this exhibition is a personal reflection of the artist's experience of the last two years, starting with the 2019/20 catastrophic bushfires and extending to the most recent COVID pandemic lockdown. While these two particular events are the consequences of more dramatic acts of more-than human agency this exhibition, through a mix of text, documentary imagery and entangled acts of co-creation, quietly reminds us that more-than human forces are constantly shaping our lives. 

 

There is a tangible anxiety from the precariousness of our assumed position. This exhibition is open about the artist's own periods of darkness. The vulnerability is intentional in its offering, holding space for more honest communication and making a stand for the practice of love.

Artist Bio

Sammy Hawker is an Australian-based visual artist. In her practice she examines methodologies of co-creation when producing work from sites of the Anthropocene. She is interested in how facilitating interaction with the more-than human in the creation of a visual image, challenges her authorial control and celebrates the voices of the more-than human world. This practice is grounded in conscious landing and active listening, considering the often invisible temporal realities, energies & cross-species entanglements of the site.

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