Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Pix-cell Double Deer No 4, 2010, Kohei Nawa.
Recently The Silver Bunny, lovely blogger from Paris, suggested I might post about contemporary art.
Taking the easy option, I thought I would show you some contemporary works, currently on show at our GoMA, and which I find interesting in various ways.

The camera does not do it justice, but the above sculpture is breathtakingly bright, glittering and sparkling.
Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa has used two taxidermied deer,
purchased on ebay, and made a cover of transparent glass and resin beads.
Thousands of new surfaces like pixels on the computer (hence the title),
creates an effercescent effect, like bubbles, and the desire to touch.

Nawa is intrigued by the way we gather information from our surroundings by our senses, and by the new phenomenon of the internet.
With his sculpture he is playing with our perceptions - it is difficult to focus on the deer while seeing ones reflection (upside down) in every little bubble.
He is also drawn to the elk because in the Shinto belief they are considered to be divine messengers.

To me this work is a little like champagne and Santa's reindeer all mixed up together!

Lighting for Neda, 2009 - Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
For more sparkle, you can't beat this enormous and absolutely gorgeous, six-panel mirror mosaic work by Iranian female artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.  Each panel is 300 x 200cm, and there are over 4000 mirror shards in the complete work.
Farmanfarmaian is astonishing - she was born in 1924, and was in her 85th year when she made this beautiful mosaic!
It is essentially an abstract composition, drawing on Islamic ideas of geometry, and explores endlessly the possibilities of the hexagon.
The title is a tribute to a female student, Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed in Tehran during the protests after the presidential elections in 2009.
As far as I know, this artist is still alive and still working.
Her biggest work ever, it is a real crowd-pleaser!

Woods III, 1991-92, Shigeo Toya

You only have to look at my sidebar to see that I love the artistic possibilities of Snow.  Another Japanese artist, Shigeo Toya, has created this installation, carving 30 "trees", a symbolic recreation of woods and snow.
He is inspired by childhood fantasies of magic and terror (think of Grimms fairy tales).  The rugged surfaces, some carved with a chain saw, others much more delicately, are dusted with ashes and polymer paint.
The effect is strong, yet also wistful, lace-like and ethereal.
I think it is gorgeous, too.

The Stations, 1989, Brent Harris

An Australian artist, Brent Harris, born 1956, was aged 33 when he painted The Stations,
a series of 14 semi-abstract scenes of the Stations of the Cross, the pictorial story of Christ's road to Calvary which is featured on the walls of all Catholic churches.
They are quietly intense and haunting, a beautiful example of abstraction in conveying the elements of each scene in a few perfect lines and shapes.
Is there any connection with the fact that Christ was 33 at his crucifixion?
I wonder ...

Looking across the foyer of the gallery, and out into the rain.
Next time I will show some very colourful contemporary Australian Indigenous art.  Meantime, after all those neutrals, let's see some colour today:

Three little Dutch princesses, grandchildren of Queen Beatrix of Holland.
So pretty ...

Michelle Obama in a perfect green/blue sundress this week.

Pink petunias, Red Cardinal balcony.


[PS All art photos by Red Cardinal]


  1. Mr red roses and I enjoy visiting the GOMA and I think Brisbanites should be very proud of this beautiful gallery. One day we might run into you conducting a tour!

  2. I absolutely love the Woods III, 1991-92, Shigeo Toya. x

    1. Me too, first time I saw it I was literally stopped in my tracks! Took my breath away ...

  3. I would love to see that beautiful mirror and The Woods for myself. What an interesting selection you've shown us.

    1. The mirror is amazing - hard to photograph all its beauty, but you can imagine.

  4. What a lovely post - thank you for sharing this! The gallery looks beautiful and I love those sparkly things so much!

    Those princesses look like a ton of fun and trouble! xxx

    1. Hello Mrs E - I hope the housemove is going well for you. Glad you like the sparkles in our GoMA.
      A trio of little girls - so true, fun and trouble!

  5. What wonderful examples you've chosen for us. Thank you so much for these pictures. And love the Petunia at the finish.

    1. Hi Beryl, making art accessible is my mission!
      glad you like the petunia .. 'fraid it's dying now. Oh dear.

  6. Faux Fuchsia needs those deer for her Christmas tree, they are wasted in a gallery.

    1. lol, so true! They'd look good in the garden, too!

  7. Beautiful things. Now each time I see a cardinal I think of you. I'll get a picture one day, I hope. Have a good weekend!

    1. Thanks Sanda. Looking forward to a cardinal pic in your own garden. Hope your weekend is a good one too!