Ripples in the Open is open
Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison
Ripples in the Open
Saturday 10th of November, 2018 – Sunday 27th of January, 2019
ArtSpace at Realm
Ringwood Town Square, Victoria
Just like one giant extended concertina on the gallery wall or evoking the sense of having been made small like Alice after nibbling the cake, however you read its scale, last Thursday, we installed Ripples in the Open, at ArtSpace Realm, and we couldn’t be happier.
Ripples in the Open is a collage, 15-metres in length, commissioned especially for ArtSpace at Realm.
In 2017, when we were invited to make a work for the space, our first thought was to make something that invited anyone passing to enter the space, like sirens luring mariners. And in one sense, we have, for the flowery island, Anthemoessa, which Greek mythology warns us of, could be our tulip and rose petal mountains. Or not. Perhaps you are still Alice looking for the Drink Me potion or in another book entirely. It needn’t matter, for little is fixed, and there we leave our talk of sirens, their song enchantments, and shipwrecks. We wanted the space to be as open as possible, with the doors rolled back. And we wanted to make something big, and, to our eyes, we have made what could easily read as one of our artists’ books spanning the length of the gallery wall.
As with creating A Weight of Albatross earlier in the year, we have enjoyed every step of the process.
So, let’s rewind. Let us install, piece by piece. Ripples in the Open, one vinyl roll at a time.
Created at scale, seeing our collage appear on the gallery wall, we could see writ large why our computer groaned and wheezed and chugged along. And we could see magnified and luminous all the RMIT University Library books we had scanned, cut, layered, repeated, and flipped. As we installed, we could see all parts of the slow process come together.
As intended, to the landscape, we added an African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) and a Polar bear (Ursus maritimus), first of all. One, hiding in a mountain of still-life tulips, and the other with their background ruins lining up with the brown underside of a giant lily pad. We greatly enjoyed studding the scene with lenticular prints of a Western pygmy possum (Cercartetus concinnus) and finding a hidden nook for a Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa rogersi).
We created a 19-minute sound loop to take you from the library to the lake. If you listen, you will hear the sound of books being scanned, some shushing, doves cooing, a commuter train, hammering from a nearby construction site, distant traffic, a garden being watered, and bird calls. Sound, another layer to the collage, enabling our lenticular print animals to further animate.
It was important to us that this landscape was assembled chiefly from representations of nature rather than actual nature, and that all of the animals could easily be removed. With the exception of a white-winged moth, there would be no fauna in the scene without the lenticular prints. Our animated fauna has been composed entirely from specimens within Museum Victoria’s collection.
Suspended between our exhibition, Ripples in the Open, on the ground floor, and A Weight of Albatross soaring in the atrium, on level 3, five of our artists’ books can be found in the library at Realm. An edition of I think all the world is falling, No longer six feet under, Disrupted and rumpled, Dim wood, spark bright, and A warmed pebble in my hand, 2017, is on display, extended upon glass shelves, which allows you to catch sight of our collaged landscape on the ArtSpace wall through the stairwell, and reflects the albatross above.
Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, a thousand petals over, to all our friends and family who have been to see Ripples in the Open.
Ripples in the Open
ArtSpace at Realm
Ringwood Town Square (opposite the Ringwood Railway Station)
179 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, 3134
Monday – Friday 9am–8pm
Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays 10am–5pm
Please join us to declare Ripples in the Open officially open.
Thursday the 15th of November, 6–8pm (including a talk, by us, somewhere in the wilderness, making like a “slash of light, then gone”).
Image credit: Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison, Ripples in the Open, ArtSpace at Realm, 2018