Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

24 November - 11 December 2010

The Hand of GodEmpireEmpirePortcullisPortcullis (detail)Harfang NoirHarfang NoirHarfang HarfangHarfang HarfangThe Star and The Wheatsheaf

EMPIRE presents a site of conflicting ideals.  The Hand of God hangs above a set of symbolic totems, defended by a mirrored Portcullis and protected by a pair of owls.

The Hand of God is an interpretation of an embroidered emblem from the Bayeux Tapestry, where God’s hand reaches down from the heavens to bless the church.  Our Hand of God is based on the wing of an eagle taken from a military insignia and reaches down from a cloud built to reference the architecture of the Italian Futurist movement. 

Portcullis is a spiked gate to a fortification which we have mirrored to reflect and repel. 

The Hand of God overshadows double horse brasses, hand carved from timber and oversized.  Originally pagan symbols of protection and good fortune, they ensured a good harvest.    

A pair of owls, Harfang Noir and Harfang Harfang, face each other.  Harfang is the name of a trained owl owned by the central character in the 1877 Jules Verne novel ‘Les Indes Noires’. The story centres on a series of mysterious occurrences and suspicious malevolent forces.The owl mirrors it’s owner’s mistrust of humanity, but eventually escapes.  Harfang Noir and Harfang Harfang reference the owl in Verne’s novel, loosely merged with the wing shape of the Avro Vulcan bomber, a British cold war aircraft. 

EMPIRE spans a complex collection of divergent belief systems and the power structures within them.  It’s an attempt to locate some kind of understanding across a shifting historical framework.

image details from top -

The Hand of God
laminate on plywood, aluminium frame
135 x 190 x 118cm

mirror laminate on plywood
172 x 220 x 33cm

Harfang Noir
laminate on plywood
37 x 50 x 13cm
edition of 4

Harfang Harfang
mirror laminate on plywood
37 x 50 x 13cm
edition of 4

The Star
hand carved pine and matte varnish
50 x 40 x 8cm

The Wheatsheaf
hand carved pine and matte varnish
50 x 40 x 8cm


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