Congratulations to Patrizia Biondi, recipient of the 2018 Artereal Gallery Mentorship Award. Awarded each year to one graduating Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours student from Sydney College of the Arts, the recipient of the award is mentored closely by the Artereal Gallery team for one year and given the opportunity to exhibit their work at the gallery. The Artereal Gallery Mentorship Award allows the recipient opportunities to seek advice and guidance pertaining to and relating to her professional development, the development of artistic practice, exhibition opportunities, art prizes, residencies and artist profiling opportunities.
Patrizia was the recipient of this year’s prize for hercollection of works, Use No Hooks, Fraught to the Bone and Joker Are Always Right but the Clowns Are All That’s Left – a series of paintings made from recovered and recycled cardboard boxes. Patrizia’s work explores the complexities arising from the inevitable tension between a total immersion in materialism and an urge towards an ethical and more environmentally aware resurgence.
‘Between Ruins and Santosha’ is a series of sculptural paintings made with recovered cardboard boxes and spray paint. The objects represent the complexities arising from the inevitable tension between a total immersion in materialism and the urge towards an ethical resurgence. Such tension is being increasingly felt worldwide as economic forces have totally subsumed life, causing considerable changes to human identity, social relations, lifestyle and the environment. This is resulting in the abandonment of traditional notions of community and the common good, changing the way humans relate to one another and engendering an ever-increasing sense of isolation, as well as placing the earth’s ecological equilibrium in a dangerous state of precariousness.
The oeuvre explores the shortcomings of globalisation – the Ruins – with a specific focus on consumerism, exposing the traces that these forces leave on our day-to-day environments. In fact, as we navigate our cities, we never have to go too far to encounter piles of waste, amounting to tonnes of obsolescent matter that inevitably finds its way to landfill, contaminating lands and catalysing environmental destruction. In the meantime, however, we seem to find this normal and we blissfully continue to engage in irrational amounts of consumption, regardless, with the only focus placed upon immediate individual satisfaction.
Therefore, through the use of waste materials these objects become discoursive of the failed promise of industrialisation to bring true prosperity for all and advancement for humanity and the planet. However, as these rejected resources are transformed into highly textural and sculptural works that are socially critical but also beautiful, the oeuvre opens a conversation about possibilities. As the remnants of cardboard destined to landfill are instead salvaged and gradually reconfigured into a whole, aesthetic object, the dignity lost through their obsolescence and abandonment is restored. Thus, the work posits the underlying potential for human identity to be reconfigured and eventually reach a state of contentment – Santosha – possibly through beauty.
– Patrizia Biondi, 2018
(Below) Patrizia Biondi, Fraught To The Bone, Rot To The Core, 2018, Cardboard, Paint, Other Media. 2.2m x 1.7m.