SWANN, Heather, 1961
Herd (All 16 hands), 2001
metal, leather, polyurethane, paper, wood, varnish
each element measures approximately 165.0 cm x 91.0 cm x 60.0 cm
Courtesy of Bett Gallery, Hobart
This work is about the curve: of a back, a hill, a cloud, a slide. It is about shapes that make an intrusion, an interruption, a 'but' in the air. The five curves are related but distinct. As a group, their profiles combine and separate, changing as you walk around them, constantly re-curving the air. At the same time, the flat underbellies describe a continuous but arbitrary floating plane parallel to the ground. Together they become a landscape, a storm, a playground, a herd.
Beyond considerations of abstract form, of weight and balance, proportion and distance, similarity and difference, the work is also about a feeling: about wanting and being afraid of it. The dark beast has no form until it appears.
Herd starts at the vaulting horse, the big leather thing, the solid, what you want. But the legs are thin and delicate. You hesitate. You do not know if these fragile supports can sustain the freight of longing. This is the physics of dreams: the turned legs derive from Hepplewhite designs for bed posts but are inverted, the world turned upside down. These are night creatures.
Heather B. Swann, September 2001
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