The Charged Object: soft sculpture and the aesthetics of touch



Margarita Sampson | Michelle Cawthorn | Yarrenyty Arltere | Brett Alexander | Paula Do Prado | Anne Graham | Nicole Monks | John Brooks

Gallery Lane Cove // 9 March – 9 April, 2016

The charged object is an exhibition that explores the ‘aesthetics of touch’ and the use of nontraditional and tactile materials in the artworks of contemporary non-indigenous and indigenous Australian artists.

The exhibition aims to explore how the fundamental shift in thinking about sculpture in the 1960’s has informed contemporary works in soft sculpture and anti-form. There will be a particular focus on works made with fibres, cloth and plastics with traditional textile techniques (weaving, sewing, wrapping, crochet, knitting, beading) and how these methods have been interpreted through contemporary installations, sculpture and animations.


Yarrenyty Altere Art, Goanna, Grandma, Grandpa, little Dingi, little Dingi’s friend, dyed blankets, thread, wool feathers and fabric, 2012

It is this idea of `feeling objects’ that the exhibition endeavours to explore and communicate to the audience. The use of these soft, tactile and universally recognisable materials are accessible, yet when presented in the gallery environment become charged with meaning and fascination. The works selected embody this relationship between the materiality of the work and the body, ‘both in the way the viewer’s body is engaged by materials and how the materials themselves can be used as bodily metaphors’.


“The object feels. This is the great discovery that Claes Oldenburg has introduced to Modern Art.  Oldenberg intertwines the organic and inorganic in his sculpture, conjoining human feeling and the physical properties of objects. These new feeling objects, presented as art, can no longer be under stood as detached and impersonal rather, they have been imbued with sensuality and sexuality.” (Celant 1995). [1]

[1] Cevant, Gervano (1995) ‘Claes Oldenburg and the Feeling of Things’, in Claes Oldenburg: an anthology, Claes Oldenburg, New York, N.Y. : Guggenheim Museum : Hardcover ed. distributed by Abrams, 1995: 13



RE POST:Art Guide Australia article

pussy galore.jpg

Maragrita Sampson, Pussy Galore, altered and gilded chair with textile.

The Charged Object: soft sculpture and the aesthetics of touch

Naomi Gall  |  Posted 11 Mar 2016

Everyone has a favourite jumper. It’s snuggly, warm, comforting and familiar. Through soft sculpture installations, The Charged Object takes these feelings out of the domestic space and into the gallery context. Exhibition curator Felicity Martin comments, “We’re familiar with a knit jumper, for example, it’s worn, it is a textile used within a domestic environment so we’re very comfortable with it, we understand it within that environment. But when you put it in a gallery it totally changes the way we experience the jumper.” This exhibition explores the way in which tactile materials can become charged with meaning and significance when placed within an art gallery.

The artists in The Charged Object: Margarita Sampson, Michelle Cawthorn, Brett Alexander, Paulo do Prado, Anne Graham, Nicole Monks, John Brooks and the Yarrenyty Arltere group utilise knitting, felting, weaving and various other textiles techniques to create works that are predominantly large scale installations, some of which incorporate media projections and animations. When selecting the artists Martin had a strong desire to include both Indigenous and non-Indigenous work and she fell in love with the handmade soft sculptures of the Yarrenyty Arltere artists. The curator also turned to the book Soft Sculpture and Beyond: An International Perspective by artist Jutta Fedderson as a starting point for the exhibition. Along with fellow curator and exhibiting artist Paula Do Prado, she selected a diverse group of artists “I think it’s going to be really interesting,” she says, “because there is a range of different works and different types of materials, and each work carries its own memory and associations as well.”

Although there are serious aspects to some of the works, Martin is quick to point out the humour in the show and the seemingly inevitable sense of fun which surrounds the objects. Laughing, she admits that presenting a gallery full of soft, sensuous, incredibly ‘touchable’ materials, but not allowing anyone to touch anything might be a bit mean. So the curator has a plan.

“We’re working on the idea of a sculpture made by the community out of gloves called Don’t Touch. And she explains that, despite the title, “people will be able to touch that particular piece. The gloves will be decorated through sewing, applique and different techniques.” Martin admits that she considered how children in particular might experience the exhibition when she thought of this addition.

The Charged Object showcases textiles, textile techniques and the tactile power of the soft sculpture.

The Charged Object: soft sculpture and the aesthetics of touch
Gallery Lane Cove
9 March – 9 April 

– See more at:

Harbour Pools // Marina Bishop


Marina Bishop lives in Lane Cove and was the Artist in Residence at Centrehouse Arts Centre during the winter of 2015. During this time Marina worked on a number of lino cut prints inspired by the iconic prints by the much loved artist, Margaret Preston. Marina has hand coloured her images of places like the Greenwich Baths, Manly Harbour pool, Balmoral Baths and Neilsen Park baths. Exhibiting alongside these landscapes will be works on paper that capture the minutia details of such places, narrowing her focus from the larger landscape to the micro spaces within.

With a number of prizes from the Lane Cove Art Awards under her belt, Marina’s solo show will be an exciting celebration of many months of research and work that looks at the local as well as the greater Sydney harbour pools and coastlines.


Marina held an artist talk during her month long exhibition giving enthusiastic locals and baths enthusiasts an insight into the history and significance of Sydney’s harbour pools, as well as an understanding of her artistic practice. Alongside the artists talks Gallery Lane Cove in partnership with Lane Cove Library hosted a talk about the history and significance of tidal baths in the Lane Cove area. Gallery Lane Cove is currently collecting any images of or stories about these special places so feel free to contact us if you have any to share.

Marina, in her interview with local artist Mark Vickers explains that she was pleasantly surprised with the positive feedback she received throughout the exhibition, as well as the positive comments made regarding her artist workshop which gave gallery goers are further insight into her practice and processes. Bishop goes on to say that the artist in residency program was important in her future artistic endeavors saying, “entering competitions is good, but it is usually limited to showing 2 or 3 pieces. I found to have a theme, and to cover it from different angles, and to explore that subject in depth – this was truly rewarding.”


The exhibition, Harbour Pools of Sydney, opens on 20 January and running until the 27th of February.

Introducing new Artist in Residence | Tony Belobrajdic

Gallery Lane Cove and Centrehouse are proud to announce our new Artist in Residence Tony Belobrajdic.

Tony is a local artist, who was born, grew up and studied Architecture and engineering in Croatia. Belobrajdic has been living and working in Sydney as a freelance illustrator since 1989.

His studio Perspectiva has provided architectural perspective photomontages and concept design services for the last 20 years locally and abroad, covering a wise variety of projects. He is a self taught artist working mainly with watercolours and acrylics.

Tony travels and paints overseas regularly and teaches water based mediums and conducts workshops for beginners to advanced levels at several Sydney art schools.


Sydney Fish Market | Tony Belobrajdic

2014 Awards (four entries)

-50th Annual Open Art Awards, 2014

-49th Annual Art Awards Exhibition, 2014

– The Coal & Allied Singleton Art Prize, 2014

-54th Ryde Art Exhibition, 2014


Three Horses | Tony Belobrajdic