Michelle Cawthorn: Playpen

Sydney-based artist Michelle Cawthorn explores the interplay of triggers; those sensorial artefacts of our waking life, that free-associate upon recall and linger at the edge of consciousness.

‘Playpen’ continues Cawthorn’s exploration of the way that our past pervades our everyday. As drawn forms evolve and take shape on the page, associations begin to develop. These associations draw on the vast store of images and experiences that are unique to each of us and which we accumulate over a lifetime. The resultant artworks represent fragments of memory juxtaposed with representational and non-representational forms that are suggestive rather than prescribed.

Like her drawings, Cawthorn’s sculptures obliquely reference past experiences, however their materiality demands a more sensorial response. Using fabrics and ply wood, and often taking their cue from playthings and spaces, they beg to be touched, felt, explored. This is a deliberate ploy by Cawthorn as the tactile, experiential nature of the works are intended to evoke the viewer’s own memories and experiences.

Michelle Cawthorn, Whirling Dervish   Michelle_Cawthorn, Puzzle IV

The Egg & Dart
2 to 30 September, 2016
New South Wales

Left: Whirling Dervish, 2016, pen, graphite, watercolour and gouache on Hahnemühle paper, 108 x 79cm
Right: Puzzle IV, 2016, pen, graphite, watercolour, gouache and acrylic wash on Hahnemühle paper, 40 x 40cm

Courtesy of the artist and The Egg & Dart, New South Wales