Traces of Absence / Duality

‘Rena’ brush ware and enamel ware catalogue; 1939 + nickel silver & Maxime & Co. Ltd’ Illustrated price list; 1911 + treated copper.
90 x 74 cm each (diptych)
2017

If art serves to celebrate life, to capture and re-present the everyday, Duality epitomises this sentiment. The diptych takes two twentieth-century catalogues – one of household sundries, the other of furniture – and celebrates each for form and colour. The humble everyday object – the scrubbing brush, broom and copper basin – is brown, colouring the earthly materials of metal and wood that build our basic implements. The elements of life are assorted, abstracted by planes of metal that symbolise everything not seen and in-between, spoken in bright copper that draws on each image’s rich tones. Furniture is blue, luxurious in comparison – all polished surface with chair legs curved with design. Nickel silver is deeply luminous in oily blue rainbows, iridescent with its indigo glaze. Glowing with decoration and solid with multiplicity, each piece represents all that surrounds us. These metals, their surfaces changing with the colours of their treatment, remind us of process, of the work behind each seemingly simple object; life jumps into art.