The exhibition Garbage and the Flowers by acclaimed artist Sarah Goffman, who recently moved to Melbourne, opens tomorrow at the Deakin University Art Gallery. Comprised of hundreds of hand-painted and recycled PET bottles and packaging, this exhibition showcases Goffman’s interest in recreating museum artifacts with plastic waste to challenge ideas about consumerism, value, durability and impermanence.
Deakin’s curator, James Lynch, is delighted to publicize this exhibition which is the artist’s first major institutional exhibition in Melbourne following his recent Applied Arts exhibition at the University of Sydney’s Chau Chak Wing Museum last year and after participating in many major national surveys and group exhibitions. .
Goffman has a long and extensive record of exhibitions across Australia dating back almost thirty years. Since then, Goffman has been a prominent player in Sydney’s contemporary art scene. In 2017, she was one of only two artists commissioned to produce a major new work for the groundbreaking exhibition Unfinished Business: New Perspectives on art and Feminism at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art in Melbourne.
For more than a decade, Goffman has been recreating pottery and ancient ceramic and porcelain artifacts using found plastic waste. His early pieces referenced the blue and white Willow motif as part of a major exhibition at the former Mori Gallery Sydney in 2005. This exhibition brings together hundreds of small works made since, grouped together and referring to various Ming, Qing, Islamic motifs, Medici porcelain. from Italy, Dutch Delft earthenware and English Chinoiserie. These are presented on tables and displayed in glass and Plexiglas cases reminiscent of the ceramic cabinets of museums around the world.
Goffman explores Orientalism and Chinoiserie as Western constructions of aesthetics, design and decoration based on myths and untruths. Picking up plastic waste and trash on her daily walks, she meticulously cleans and paints plastic surfaces. Using the histories of ceramic design and decoration to imitate, copy and transform, Goffman recreates objects of desire from the waste products of consumer culture, creating complex artistic artifacts for our times.
Interviews with the artist and the curator available on request.
WHAT: Sarah Goffman Garbage and flowers. FREE ENTRANCE.
WHEN: Tuesday to Friday from May 24 to July 8, 2022.
WHERE: Deakin University Art Gallery, FA Building, Melbourne Burwood Campus, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood. Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.