All the Rivers Don’t Run – Article by Isolde Davis AM 13.10.2006
The exhibition of nine mixed media sculptures is focused on Australia’s rivers drying up and in particular on the Darling system at the Queensland / New South Wales border. This phenomenon is perhaps due to overuse of water supplies, which because of global warming may never be replenished.
The title of the exhibition is striking and so are the seven sculptures hanging from the ceiling and two sculptures on opposing sides suspended from metal rods reminiscent of irrigation channels.
The River is epitomised in sculpture One Where is she?An ample convex form portrays her abundant water supply. However, this arched hollow plenitude, begins to lessen until it stretches out into a rivulet. Who is to blame for this parlous state of the River Darling ? The truth is hinted in sculpture Two Who is to blame? Who else but Man! In representing the human species Christine Simpson has symbolically incorporated their entrails into the protracted white form. At the same time these twisted forms half way in the sculpture can be interpreted as a reference to man’s hubris vis-à-vis nature.
Sculptures Three to Seven are entitledMourning for the Darling. Each is portrayed in a minimalist form. Their elongated, over-streched and slightly sinuous forms with marks of decaying, bleached driftwood are covered with a white patina. White is the colour of mourning. Seen from the distance they merge into a group evoking sadness and a feeling of loss. However, on closer inspection the viewer notices slight colour touches in the patina and variations in forms that makes each sculpture different.
Sculpture Eight There is no Convergence represents a geographical factand sculpture NineHopea very human desire, a longing for a favourable outcome. Sculpture Eight is very dramatic and tense. It consists of two parts in the Darling system. Where once upon a time the two parts were joined supplying life-giving water to nature – there is now a separating break, a negative space created by man. The drawn out sculpture Hopecovered with white patina is marked with delicate green streaks which trickle into a chalice at the bottom end. Life may yet return to the waters…
The sculptor, Christine Simpson, has created a very topical and striking personal statement of what is happening at this very moment in Australia. All the many articles in the newspapers and the talk-fests about conserving water and global warming don’t make such a profound impression as her nine minimalist sculptures at the gallery,Factory 49, 49 Shepherd St, Marrickville, NSW.