Feathers, Fur and Transgressive Desires

An Installation Exhibition by Sue Rogers:

The Broker by Sue RogersWhat?  Master of Visual Arts by Research Student, Sue Rogers

Where?  The Phyllis Palmer Gallery, Visual Arts & Design building (via Gate 8 off Sharon Street),
La Trobe University, Edwards Road, Flora Hill. Enquiries may be directed to the gallery administrator, Candy Stevens, ph 03 5444 7917, email gallery@latrobe.edu.au , or on the website at https://www.latrobe.edu.au/visualarts/ppg/index.htm 
When?  Friday 18 February – Thursday 3 March 2011
    Gallery hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.


Artist’s statement:
My studio research produced installation art that intentionally brought together a plethora of diverse ideas.  As I physically wove threads with my hands, I laced together an intricate web of ideas around the concepts of impermanence, nature, femininity and shamanic ritual.  The resultant artwork reveals a hybrid world where nature and artifice co-exist in an otherworldly harmony.

Living on the edge of town, I had always felt I had one foot placed firmly in civilization, with all its comforts and distractions, while the other foot trod tentatively in the forest near my home.  Civilized culture is drenched in sterile and improbably idealistic re-presentations of the natural world, but my own experience of nature was less serene.  I found something foreboding in walking alone in the forest.

My research explored how contemporary culture distorts and re-construes our understanding of natural things.  By using feathers, a material sourced directly from nature, alongside synthetic fur, which has been designed to mimic nature, I demonstrated how tenuous the distinction is, between charade and authenticity.  My artwork can give a sense of our being connected to nature, and yet paradoxically, it is noticeably handmade.

Making ephemeral installations in a gallery setting was, for me, an act that challenged our materialist culture’s obsession with the art object as a consumable entity.  Because my artwork is temporary and site-specific, it not generally considered salable.  My research enabled me to more clearly understand the Buddhist philosophy of impermanence and to explore where my artistic praxis sat in relation to the work of other artists who also deal with transient processes.  Nature, itself, is a complex system of ephemeral processes, and is recognized and celebrated as such in Buddhist thought.

Sue Rogers


Media enquiries
Candy Stevens, Gallery Administrator, Ph 5444 7917 E gallery@latrobe.edu.au  or

Zerin Knight, Media Liaison, Ph 5444 7375 M 0428 463 161 E z.knight@latrobe.edu.au