Catalogue Essay by Laura Couttie
The artist awakes in the middle of the night with the whisper of a dream on her mind. Still half asleep, she switches on the bedside lamp and hastily scribbles down remnants of the dream. Two figures; a flag waving slowly from side to side; an M.C. Escher-like contraption; a room filled with colourful balloons. The more she tries to grasp onto these scenes, to make sense of them, the dream slips away, like sand through a sieve.
A pulley system exists in temporary equilibrium, the two opposing elements balanced in perfect harmony. On one side is a weight containing frozen water beads, on the other, a golden orb counterweight. This hydrothermic sculpture pays homage to the Rube Goldberg machine, a contraption that relies on the transformation or movement of materials to trigger a reaction. As the ice beads melt, the pulley shifts slowly to the opposing side. Drip. Drip. Drip. When the ice melts to such a point that the opposing weight crashes down to the floor, the contraption has fulfilled its purpose.
Pink slime ooooooozes grotesquely. The colour and texture of this material references Freud’s uncanny, that which is familiar yet unfamiliar all at once. The colour pink, recurring throughout the artist’s works brings to mind the abject body, child-like play and psychedelia. It is not of our conscious, civilised world. Yet it appears here in all its pink, slimy glory to remind us of our own humanity.
Two large flags, banners, wave hypnotically, mechanised, in sync. Moving as though caught in a breeze, but instead controlled by rudimentary mechanised arms. Back and forth they wave. You are getting sleepy. Back and forth. These cryptic message bearers stand guard over the proceedings, watching and waiting for their secrets to be unraveled.
The artist explores tension and balance between opposing states: objecting and subjective; reason and imagination; the transformation of materials from solid to liquid, shifting states from order to chaos, conscious and unconscious; the realm between dream and reality. These sculptural works utilise a variety of materials, including resin, silicon, concrete, salt and wax, that are transformed, poured, moulded and warped in a playful exploration of materiality to illustrate these tensions and thresholds.
Drawing on Jungian dream theory, Maddy Anderson takes inspiration from her dreams, treating them as sources of material to be investigated and unraveled. Constructing kinetic contraptions and playful sculptures in response to these dream sequences, she offers an exploration of the space that exists between conscious and dream states.
- Laura Couttie