Drawing in Space and the Germ Series, as part of the UWA Wallal Expedition Centenary at the Undercroft, University of Western Australia
Wednesday 21 September - Sunday 2 October 2022. 10 am - 5 pm daily.
The Undercroft, Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia (Reflection Pond entrance).
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"This exhibition represents some of my efforts to express in sculpture my explorations of Nature in all its manifestations. Structure, pattern and form are my primary interests. The physical world from the nano to the cosmic - from algae to dark matter - is clearly interconnected."
- Mark Grey-Smith.
Meet the Creators and Thinkers: A discussion about the relationship between art and science with cosmologists Regents Professor Paul Davies AM, Professor Tamara Davis AM, Emeritus Professor David Blair and renowned WA sculptor Mark Grey-Smith.
Thursday 22 September 2022, 3:00pm - 4:30pm.
Undercroft, Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia
Artist Statement, Mark Grey-Smith
This exhibition represents some of my efforts to express in sculpture my explorations of Nature in all its manifestations.
Structure, pattern and form are my primary interests. The physical world from the nano to the cosmic - from algae to dark matter - is clearly interconnected.
At the quantum level possibility gets solidified into matter and energy. Matter starts with the geometric array of atoms which is transferred into the structure and growth of crystals. This leads through the emergence of life to the patterns of the simplest form of life, algae. This algal pattern can be seen in the clusters of the super galactic webs.
Science has given us all of these new insights into nature.
I have avidly followed the new visions of nature in my sculpture. Emeritus Professor David Blair and Professor Paul Davies have been important sources in my understanding of the developments in science.
I am honoured to be included in the celebration of Einsteinian physics, the Wallal expedition and the astounding developments over the decades in which UWA’s team of gravitational physicists has provided a constant source of inspiration. Over many decades, discussions on cosmology and physics with David Blair and collaborations in art-science projects have guided and influenced my art. This is a wonderful example of art-science collaboration.
Professor Paul Davies, through his writing, has led the way for my understanding of how things interconnect in the physical world. With his deep understanding and lucid prose, he has been an important link, bringing meaning from all the edges of science to all of us.
Drawing In Space is a range of sculptures from the last 3 years. These sculptures are drawings in space. They are three dimensional lines and planes playing with positive and negative space. This work is an outcome of a desire to work freely, fast and small. The sources range from the geometry of rocks to the flow of water and the shape of trees and coral. All this matter is in a dance with space.
The Covid 20 works are inspired - as the Organelle and Cuboid series - in nature, but they are meant as expressions of human emotion; the emotions that arose after learning about the outbreak of a new SARS virus in China in 2019. I became very worried, both for myself and for everybody. In response I started a new body of work: some that drew from my works and ideas from the 80s, like Gravity, a sculpture first exhibited beside the Winthrop Hall reflection pond a few meters from here, and now exhibited on the wall of the UWA physics building. These works are figurative in concept, extremely three dimensional and are very complex forms.
The Germ Series is an expression of how you can get something from nothing. The beginning is a work titled Black Whole 1999. This was a sculpture made for the Gravitate exhibition at the Lawrence Wilson Gallery at UWA. Nine artists engaged in the consideration of gravity and the science and machinery of gravitational wave detection. This project was initiated by David Blair and underpinned the development of the Gravity Discovery Centre at Gingin.
By fulfilling the formal potential of the structure, forms have emerged that refer to the beginnings of life. I am suggesting the connection of crystalline growth and organic molecules to the creation of self-replicating organic structures that we call life.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2011 | Beached | Kidogo Art Space | Fremantle
2010 | Trescape | Painted Tree Gallery | Northclife
2006 | Turn | Gallows Gallery | WA
2004 | Germ II | Perth Gallery | Subiaco, WA
2002 | Spheres | Beaver Gallery | Deakin, ACT
2001 | Germ: Organic Geometry | Works Gallery | Fremantle, WA
1994 | The Running Man Series | Beaver Gallery | ACT
1992 | Outdoor Sculpture | Chapman Gallery | Manuka, ACT
1987 | Form Nature and Emotion | CCAS, ACT
1981 | Investigations of the Cube | Undercroft Gallery | UWA
1979 | Gallery 52 | Claremont | WA
1974 | Old Fire Station Gallery | Perth, WA
Selected Group Exhibitions
2015-18 | Sculpture By the Sea | Cottesloe | Perth, WA
2009 | Sculpture By the Sea | Cottesloe | Perth, WA
2008 | The Helen Lempriere N S A | Victoria
2008 | Sculpture By the Sea | Cottesloe | Perth, WA
2007 | Sculpture By the Sea | Cottesloe | Perth, WA
2006 | Sculpture By the Sea | Cottesloe | Perth, WA
2000 | Gravitate | L W G UWA | WA
1999 | West Coast Geometric Abstraction | G de F | WA
1999 | Geometric Abstraction in Perth | G de F | WA
1996 | Breaching the Divide | Goulburn, Regional Gallery | NSW
1995 | Perceived Differently | Drill Hall Gallery AANU
1994 | Out of the Box | Nolan Gallery | ACT, NSW, WA
1981 | First Australian Sculpture Triennial | Victoria
1976 | Young Contemporaries | UWA
1974 | The Opening Show | Praxis Inc. | Perth, WA
1998-2016 | ANU Sculpture Garden | Canberra, ACT
2009 | Development Grant | WA Department of Culture and the Arts
2000 | New Media Arts Fund Grant | Australia Council
1983 | Australia Council | Visual Arts Board | Travel Grant
1974 | Australia Council | Visual Arts Board | Studio Grant
City of Cottesloe | Perth, WA
Art Gallery of West Australia | WA Art Bank
Australian National University | ACT
University of Western Australia | WA
Queen Elizabeth Centre | Perth, WA
Edith Cowan University | Perth, WA
BankWest | WA
Private collections | WA, NSW and ACT
1984 | Post Graduate Diploma (Sculpture) | Canberra School of Art | ACT
1974 | Diploma in Art and Design (Sculpture) | Chelsea School of Art | London, UK
2003 | Midland Railway Workshop Workers Wall 2913 Pemberton Treescape wall