Recent Acquisitions

Joe Sheehan - Words Fail

Words Fail
15 x carved Carrara marble letters

Installation dimensions variable

“Joe Sheehan is as interested in words and their conceptual purchase as he is in the artworks he produces; vitally aware of the significance of attaching names to things, and vice versa. Record combines objects as records with the notion of embodied knowledge and information.

The pivotal work in the exhibition is a series of fifteen balloon letters carved from Carrara marble: a ‘response’ to Sheehan’s Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellowship in November 2011. The bubble letters are called Words Fail, a witty response to an inability to communicate such a monumental experience, couched with further irony in the medium of monuments themselves. These letters are about awe, and the limits of our capacity to convey it; words with lofty intentions that have fallen on stony ground.”
Record exhibition media release by Dr. Billie Lythberg >

Photos: Kallan MacLeod

Tim Melville Gallery


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