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dtrr

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lifelines & graduate gallery
2007
 
laser etched laminex, found photoframes, plywood, adhesive vinyl, hinged perspex 'doors', and patient photographs
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
H 2400 X W 8125 X D 100mm
Lifelines 'Almost two years ago, John and his wife Sonia discovered that there were complications with their pregnancy. Unnamed and unborn at that time, Vincenzo Vella was found to have a benign tumour growing on his tiny body. John has always developed sculptural work that is personal and candid, but the commission for this piece stepped into a different terrain as it was a direct translation of his own emotions - fear, love, frustration and anger. His response to the brief for a small waiting and reception area of the clinic was to consider what any one of those parents might need as they sit in those waiting chairs. He proposed an installation that wrapped the space and the occupant, like a cave, a womb, a grotto. He drew in personal memories of Malta where exvoto - walls of votives, photographs and flowers - are made to give thanks to the saints, and he also referenced the stained glass of places of worship or contemplation'
Lifelines begins within the small entry niche to the clinic. John's intention was to draw the work outside of the doors as a way to aid the transition into the highly secure ward, because '...once you step through those doors, the world is really different. The work is composed of hundreds of found or salvaged photo frames containing pieces of coloured laminate laser-inscribed with segments of linework from Vincenzo's MRI scan. The frames, which stretch from the entry into the waiting room, fill the entire wall surface, wrapping carefully around signage, intercoms, and fire extinguishers, some boxed out to create relief in the colourful membrane. John's take on the frames of different sizes and materials is that they underline the democracy of this ward by representing of myriad aesthetic beliefs, and each carries the residue of a family. A translucent vinyl outline stretching across a glass partition completes the wrapped space, illustrating Vincenzo's head, abstracted only by the impenetrability of a scan to the uninitiated.' Excerpts from article - Lifelines and Graduate Gallery, Artichoke magazine vl. 23, pp. 89-92 - by Judith Abell