Claudia Terstappen creates works and installations using sculpture, photography and video. Her visual language has been intensely shaped by our natural environment. ‘Theatre of Forms’ brings together a selection of black and white photographs and ceramic sculptures, drawing connections between similar surfaces, structures, and shapes. While the artist’s photographs are a direct response to her experience of being out bush, her sculptural works read more as a translation of that experience into form.
“When I take a photograph, I am driven by light, colour, composition, and perhaps purity – seen and felt. I am not interested in depicting paradises with my photographs but try to reflect on the enchantment of nature, evoking memories that draw connections with possible histories, both shared and personal. The immense diversity of natural forms has also become the catalyst for my sculptures.”
Sometimes Terstappen’s ceramic works only reveal a small part of what was once the starting point for it, because matter and manifold possibilities influence the decision-making process and affect the form and its meaning. Only sculpture allows for the freedom to shape material. It is not the subject that matters, but the translation of the subject into abstraction so that the works remain open to an infinite net of interpretations. Colours play an important part; sometimes they are emotional, sometimes they are used to distract the origin of the form. More importantly, they fetishise the work as an object of desire.
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