Rodney Love, Embodied Landscape #1, 2009, socks and cotton, 16 x 20cm
Tell us about Embodied Landscapes 1, what was the intention behind this work?
This work is made from old socks. I imagine these socks as people wore them to go about their lives, walking across pavements and parks and suburban streets. They have taken on the energy from the lives they have been connected to - the lived experience has become embodied in these socks. Along the way they have encountered myriad landscapes, the stages upon which our lives are lived. And each time they returned home, they brought those landscapes with them.
With these works I’m not trying to represent a landscape, but merely show the physical products that have moved through various landscapes. Not only are the various people who donated these socks joined together by their shared humanity, but also by the shared environment - Our lives are shaped by our social experiences, but also by the world that sustains us. As we irrevocably change our landscape, so we change ourselves.
Where and when did you discover the expressive qualities of your medium and how did you learn the skills required to make the work?
I started at art school in the Sculpture department, but took classes in different areas – textiles, ceramics, papermaking - to learn as much as possible. The first textile class I took introduced me to a range of techniques, and weaving really appealed to me. I took further classes, and extended my knowledge, finding that similar conceptual concerns to my sculptural work could be expressed through this medium. As I was using the idea of the individual and the group in a lot of my work, the idea of the “fabric of society” was a natural fit.
'Embodied Landscape 1' is currently being exhibited as part of META4; a group exhibition of four Sydney artists, all of whom harness techniques that are traditionally associated with women’s handiwork and craft to express, to challenge and sometimes to parody the concepts and psyche behind gender stereotyping, femininity and domesticity. Exhibition runs 1 September - 2 October 2010.
Rodney Love will also be a part of 'Hands On', a survey of Australian contemporary artists whose primary mode of production is usually assosciated with home crafts. Curated by Cash Brown, this exhibition can be seen at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery from 4 December, 2010.