FRIEZE: Ecce homo (précis)


A frieze of fifty-two brooches

Made Flesh

In Margaret West’s studio countless drawings of torsos line the walls in repeated patterns. Through their execution, West has undergone an intense process of analysis of form and symbol. These drawings are from two sources - the widely circulated photographs downloaded from the Internet of the Abu Ghraib tortures, and from that most modest of art practices, life drawing class. West’s drawings have created a pool of formal references from which the artist’s own resources of emotion, intellect and poetry have been channelled into her work Frieze: Ecce Homo (precis) 2005, of 52 brooches in marble, paint, 925 silver. A selection of titles for individual pieces within the work offer avenues of interpretation; … Bloom … Correction … Erasure … Killing Me Softly … Kyrie … Limit … Made Flesh … Shed for You … Small Red Flower … Stain …

In his recent Nobel Lecture, Art, Truth & Politics, Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner, observed;

… When we look into a mirror we think that the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimeter and the images changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory ...

Rhana Devenport

from her catalogue essay for Luminaries, 2006 Sydney College of the Arts Gallery NSW, Geraldton Art Gallery, WA.; 2007 Orange Regional Gallery, NSW, Flinders University Art Museum, SA

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