In conversation with… Louise Paramor

Nationally renowned artist Louise Paramor has experimented with found objects, recycled domestic and industrial remnants and ephemeral materials and over the course of two decades has achieved considerable recognition for their transformation into distinctive found assemblage sculptures, figurative and abstract collages and readymade glass and ephemeral installations.

The development of Paramor’s diverse creative practice and thematic concerns will be on display at the Glen Eira City Council Gallery in ‘Louise Paramor: Emporium: A  survey exhibition 1990-2013’, curated by Diane Soumilas.

What is the significance of you using found objects? What triggered your attraction to such mundane and everyday objects?
My sculptural practice is driven by what I find, in recent years it has been colourful plastic objects drawn from a variety of different sources. The objects themselves, unusual in form and colour, motivate and direct me to combine them in a way that produces eccentric and poetic ensembles.

How has your work developed throughout your career in terms of themes and process?
Throughout my career I have experimented with a lot of different materials and ideas but in the end it’s all the same to me – I just think about the material at hand, whether it be found objects, found imagery, found text, paper, plastic, bottles, glass or gloss enamel paint. My aim is to create an object or picture with intensity and I get carried away with what the material offers, and just as importantly, I am also restricted by its limitations.

‘Wild Cards 2013’ is a series of sculptures created specifically for the exhibition. Can you tell us a bit about them?
This use of fiberglass animals is a recent addition to my ‘palette’ of materials, opening up a whole new area of exploration where the ‘animals’ are treated much like formal elements, and are abstracted via subversion. This addition to my oeuvre brings a new and refreshing dimension to my sculptures, potentially challenging the limits of the ready-made. The ‘Wild Card’ series includes animal forms such as a snake, a poodle, an ape, a panda and a tiger.

The exhibition includes the model of the monumental sculpture ‘Panorama Station 2012’ seen on the Peninsula Link/East Link freeway. Is there a clear distinction in your work between public and private viewing?
I have been fortunate with my permanent public sculpture in that it is derived from my studio/gallery work, meaning I have avoided the pitfalls of pandering to a brief – my work has always been ‘right for the part’. For instance, the model for Panorama Station comes from a series of ‘architectural propositions’ entitled Stupa City (2011) that referenced the tower forms common in Buddhist structures. It was my intention to make a series of marquettes that I could draw upon at a later date. As it turns out that is exactly what happened and amongst this series was the perfect equation for the Peninsula Link Freeway.

How do you approach your site-specific from your gallery work differently?
The only real difference is a physical one – what I mean is that when placing a sculpture outside for a reasonable length of time one obviously has to be acutely aware of scale and mindful of public safety and the effects of the weather etc. I entered the realm of outdoor sculpture in 2007 soon after making the first ‘Jam Sessions’ series, which were assembled from domestic plastic objects – I then started to notice a great array of industrial plastic stuff in the world – bigger, hardier and more colorfast than domestic plastics – perfect for outdoor conditions.

Glen Eira City Council Gallery
27 September to 3 November, 2013

Hotel Panorama, 2010, found object assemblage, 130 x 80 x 35cm (Collection: Southern Way)

Wild Card # 1 (Snake), 2013, plastic, fibreglass, 122 x 230 x 48cm

Courtesy the artist and the Southern Way Collection