Matthew Harding, Phyllotaxis 2002-2003, spun mirror-polished stainless steel (Detail)
Introduction | Exhibition | Judges | Further Reading | Visiting
Peter D COLE | Red, Yellow and Black

COLE, Peter D
Australia 1947
Red, Yellow and Black 2002-2003
painted steel
260 (h) x 240 (w) x 130 (d) cm
Courtesy of Australian Galleries, Melbourne
VIEW: Artist's Statement |

ET Red, Yellow and Black is more abstracted than many of your other works. I am curious about how far you can refine your symbols and imagery and still maintain the link with the landscape, and to what extent this work explores more formal concerns?

PC I feel that the element of abstraction has always been in my work, but was previously placed in a context, so that the composition comprised of a balance between both figurative and abstracted or minimal elements thereby forming its own narrative or cosmos. It is probably more accurate to say that I employ and use the elements of modernism where there is a fusion between the abstract and the elemental.

ET There seems to be a beautiful tension between these concepts of representation/abstraction, which is mirrored in the balance and contrast within the work itself of open/closed, solid/void, straight/curved.

PC Red, Yellow and Black this is one of a series of works that are about the balance of positive and negative, creating both a psychological space and a physical space; inside—outside. This space is primal knowledge to everyone.

ET There are few clues in the work which refer back to the source of the imagery. Does it matter if the work is read only in sculptural terms?

PC I would hope that the work was read in sculptural terms, and by this I do not mean a checklist, before an experience can happen. The work allows for the constants of the sculptural process, ie. balance, form, composition, surface, etc., to play their part in an unconscious manner, letting the viewer experience their own relationship to the sculpture and create their own understandings of what they are seeing.

As you said there are few clues referring directly back to the source of the imagery. This is a hard question to answer or say much about because each element takes on its own identity during the making process, almost in an algebraic manner, where the structure is created within a given set of axioms or symbols.

Peter D Cole in response to questions from Elena Taylor, November 2002

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