Saturday 17th January – Saturday 21st February 2009
Anne Thalheim’s work has a powerful presence but resists easy interpretation. Nothing is quite what it seems. Objects which from afar resemble plants or creatures, turn out to be something quite different. The organic or natural is revealed as artifice, its beauty is disturbing and its attraction can repel.
“I make three dimensional objects that are often ambiguous, humorous, disturbing or repulsive. A restricted palette and selection of materials from the building trade give unity to this series of works.
Ready-made or found objects are used with a nod to Duchamp and the Surrealists. Figuration in the work emerges from the latent characteristics of these materials, which the artist instinctively draws out. A sensuality, eroticism even, is consciously and wittily contradicted by the choice of materials.
“Rubber from tractor inner tubes brings a further contradiction. A derivative of oil, the black gold, made into an object now made redundant, stubbornly polluting, rubber replaces expensive metal, whilst assemblages take precedent over the laborious and costly process of moulding and casting bronze.”
Language also plays a part in the work; allusive titles such as ‘Reticule’ or ‘Portable Billabong’ seem to mirror (rather than describe) the object. The poetic interplay between language and object compounds ambiguity and removes the possibility of literal interpretation of either.
Biographical note: Anne Thalheim was born in Quebec and studied at University Laval in Quebec. She currently lives and works in North Yorkshire. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at Hatton Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne and Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton-le-Hole.