Topics: Art, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Stark Museum of Art Pages: 1 (309 words) Published: May 30, 2013
Rosalie Gascoigne’s 130.5 x 465 cm abstraction, Monaro, constructed from “sawn [and] split” “Schweppes boxes” and mounted on plywood, was created in and “inspired by birds flying” above the Monaro wheat belt, outside of Canberra. Despite the starkness of its unintelligible “fragmented words” and its resemblance to “wafting, waving dried grasses”, Monaro, overall, is both “allusive and illusive” on first impression. It consists of “four panels” that are composed of “reworked” “letters” that move in a broken, rhythmical and undulating way across the picture plane. Despite its one-dimensional, very “singular” abstraction, Monaro represents “the Monaro district”, Gascoigne’s abode for “more than fifty years” in which she acquired “solitary habits”. Viewed from this perspective, Monaro expresses Gascoigne’s affinity with the “vast, hard and unforgiving” Mount Stromlo. The expansiveness of the four panels reflects Gascoigne’s “long days [in] solitude” by which she developed her “highly original powers of observation” apparent across her oeuvre. Monaro is a construction of “slice[d], rotate[d] and montage[d]” soft drink crates, thus combines abstract with assemblage, “images [with] sculptural elements”. Gascoigne has a personal affinity for the materials she implements, as they are directly “sourced [from] the landscape” in which she spent “more than fifty years”. Gascoigne combines these two perfectly harmonious art genres due to her utility to them and, conversely, her “hopeless[ness]” with traditional art forms. Gascoigne’s “utterly down-to-earth and workmanlike” artistic process is exceedingly innovative. Having said that, Gascoigne frequently “shunned the limelight” and sought to reclaim herself after public appearances. The “blurred asymmetricality” of Monaro reflect Gascoigne’s “allusive and lyrical” endeavours, not wanting to “tell… a story” or “attribute [absolute] meanings” to her work, enabling ambiguous interpretation. The stark undulations of the “reworked”...
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