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DAVID BIELANDER: A THEATRE OF APPEARANCES
Translating a Perth beach in summer to a Munich gallery in winter
How we interpret the world is at the core of David Bielander and Michelle Taylor’s
e xhibition at Galer ie Biro in Munich. A n ar tist-in-res idence in 2010 at FORM’s
Midla nd Atelier, Biela nde r bega n wor king with Taylor to cre ate a n e xhibition
exploring the space between perception and appearance. Together they have
transplanted Perth’s Coogee beach into a European gallery space in darkest winter,
us ing life-sized photogra phs of s eve n Austra lia n pe rsona lities Biela nder me t on his
re sidenc y. H ow will Biela nder ’s jewelle r y, ca ref ully mounted in f ront of photogra phs
of people such as potter Pippin Drysdale, arts identity Carlier Makigawa (above)
a nd our own Insite editor A nna Fla nder s cha nge beca use of that juxt aposition?
Bon ded together initially, the jewellery disen gages fro m the photograph as
soo n as yo ur focus shifts to his ex traordin ar y objects, initiating a nother chan ge
in interpretation . Bielan der work s with imager y de rived fro m plan ts, an imals
a nd in sects. His slug broo ches, fo r example, perch o n the body, an ten nae aler t
to dan ge r, ready to slip slowly over a sho ulder or disappear dow n a sleeve. “ I
aim to walk that fine line between making something simple enough that one
u n avo idably recognises, yet that simultan eou sly requires a con scio us effor t to get
beyon d the obviou s,” he explains. “At the same time, they n eed to be abstract
e no ugh that it allows a shift to happen , that the piece becomes so mething
altogether new when it unpredictably connects with you, when it’s in your hand or
it appears together with you when you put it on”.
For example, his Hedgehog, made from cones of folded metal, is an abstract
arrangement with its primary reading as a small, spiny mammal, but when seen
from another angle it changes into a sunburst of gold. The several transformations
of a single piece of jewellery as it interacts with a wearer is central to his practice.
The exhibition coincides with the International Handwerk & Design Fair, one of
the biggest events in contemporary jewellery in
Eu rope , and although A Theatre of Appearances
won’t be shown in Perth, there will be an
opportunity to engage with Bielander’s work when
he exhibits at Midla nd Atelier in Octobe r.
David Bielan der : A The atre of Appea rances ,
Ma rch 17-April 23, Gallery Biro galerie-biro.de.
David Bielander’s exhibition at FORM’s Midlan d
Atelier open s October 6 , form.net.au .
Carlier Makigawa, photographed by
Michelle Taylor for A Theatre of Appearances.
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