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Lot #32 - Ricky Swallow

  • Auction House:
    Bonhams Australia
  • Sale Name:
    The Sherman Collection | Prints & Multiples | Online Auction
  • Sale Date:
    10 Mar 2023 ~ 2pm (AEDT)
  • Lot #:
  • Lot Description:
    Ricky Swallow
    (born 1974)
    Here Comes The Snakes, 2005
    edition of 90 ; digital print on paper
    33.5 x 26.0cm (13 3/16 x 10 1/4in).
    titled, numbered, signed and dated below image: 'HERE COMES THE SNAKES 5/90 RSwallow 05'
    RELATED WORKS: The Arrangement, laminated limewood, American oak, steel, 115.5 x 46.0 x 51.0cm, in Ricky Swallow: This Time Another Year, Australia Council, Sydney, 2005, pp. 91-93 (illus.) Another example from this edition is held in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide In her catalogue essay for the exhibition catalogue which accompanied Ricky Swallow: This Time Another Year for the Australian Pavilion at the 51st International Biennale of Art, Venice, Jennifer Higgie notes, 'In The Arrangement, 2004, two snakes support a bicycle helmet modelled on one that Swallow wore when he first moved to London. {Structures for heads recur again and again: hoods, hats and skulls.} The carving of the pale, soft wood is exquisitely hypersensitive to differences in texture: the tiny wrinkle on a snake's mouth and the dull sheen of reptilian scale; a miniscule dint in a battered helmet. It's absurdly life-like, as ghostly as an accurate hallucination. Recollection and invention intermingle, slowly carved in an attempt to retrieve or replicate, to mourn or to fling into the future what has been lost and what might yet be discovered through the simple expedient of observation. There is a clear implication here: heads {the imagination, the mind} are fragile and life often tenuous {cycling in a big city is like navigating a dangerous digestive system}. The everyday is wrapped in the symbolic: danger and protection become interchangeable. The indifferent snakes do not recognise borders; they inhabit their space with the delicate sinew of baroque ribbons, animated at the promise of something we have no access to. The sculpture alludes to more than its materials; it resonates with holes, temptation, poison; it's a cock sculpture, a Joni Mitchell song, the eels in a horse's skull in The Tin Drum that prefigure a descent into madness; an urban fall from grace. It makes clear that objects and animals are rarely one thing: our imagination spins them into many meanings, and weaves what we need from them. The Arrangement appears to be moving, as though replete with a life in the process of transformation; the eyes of the snake dart about: vision itself is an anxious object. It makes clear that the skull is something that needs careful tending: it can be worn down or broken; it's pitted against time.'
  • Provenance:
    The Gene & Brian Sherman Collection, Sydney
  • Notes:
    Accompanied by a cloth bound copy of the publication, Ricky Swallow: The Time Another Year
  • Estimate:
    A$600 - 900
  • Realised Price:

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  • Category:

This Sale has been held and this item is no longer available. Details are provided for information purposes only.

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