jewel in my crown
Off-site exhibition at Brisbane Terrace, Boorloo/Perth
Curated by Elizabeth Smith
pretty caught up
in a spiral of spines and fronds
a glimmer of wire in the soft tangle
meaning briefly catching
in the corner of your eye
When I look at Tammy’s work, I am reminded of Marguerite Duras’ piece The Lover, particularly the part where she writes “she pays close attention to externals, to the light, to the noise of the city in which the room is immersed...” Enmeshed in a larger reflection where expressing meaning is obscured and lost, the action of focusing on the margins stabilises her and her feelings towards her lover; feeling present in the periphery.
A discovery of wire in a tangled mess of weeds became some kind of portal or way of seeing – of looking between rather than at something. What lies between the tangled, grid-like wire is otherworldly yet recognisable. Tammy pursues meaning through a code of dead and discarded things, found objects, weeds, scrawls and letters, and disjointed sentences. She asks you to look as if seeing the world through peripheral vision. Even at their brightest moments, the works are receding.
The landscapes that Tammy paints transcribe complex renderings of emotional states. Slippages and gestural strokes combine with uneasy letters and word fragments to create so much content, they almost lead to a void. But as you focus on isolated parts of the composition, details emerge and unite to suggest the possibility of a distinct statement. Just as you reach this point, the message re-obscures itself; its “language dislodges like rocks in a landslide.”
Everlasting always exists in fleeting’s notches and grooves.
As such, the works are forms of myth-making for that moment of clarity before total disintegration, of almost knowing expressed in lively and vibrant echoes fading out in spirals.
Text By Elizabeth Smith
Chris Kraus, Social Practices, in the essay “Face,” 176.
Ibid., in the essay “A History of Destabilization (Lucie Stahl),” 225.