Monday, July 28, 2008

Living Treasure

When I was in Melbourne I had the privelege of seeing Marian Hosking's exhibition at Craft Victoria.

Marian Hosking has been named one of Australia's Living Treasures, an award celebrating Australia's senior craft practitioners. The work in this exhibition explores the secretive variety and diversity of the forests of Gippsland. Some of these quiet pieces look as though they are cast, silver fragments of the leaf litter and forest floor.

Hosking's use of the matted and intertwined fragments of leaf litter carries us into larger environmental concerns. This theme is illuminated in the major piece of the exhibition called the "Tall Tree Project". This consists of a piece of silver tape that Hosking's cast around the circumference of a giant gum tree. Following this tape through it's gentle twists and turns around a wave shaped table is really like taking a journey. This connects the viewer to the making process in a form of a walking meditation. As you walk around the piece your eye is drawn in to the detail in the silver casting. The beauty of the texture, the lustre and sensuality of the piece draw you further through the gallery and draws your mind into an understanding of the physical process of the making.

This in turn brings insight into the majesty of this huge tree. So Hosking juxtaposes jewellery, intimate, delicate, and human with nature ancient, strong and imperiled.

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