Adriane Strampp’s work Observer Observed has been selected for the 2012 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, judged by Sydney art critic John McDonald.
Adelaide Perry Gallery
The Croydon Centre for Art
Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney
Observer observed is one of several drawings produced during a residency at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo in 2011. The subject is Birani, a Malayan Tapir who resides there.
My work has always been concerned with the connection between strength and fragility, the tangible and the intangible, and the presence of absence. From the early dress paintings of the 1980’s through to the current animal works I have explored that which remains ‘in absentia’: the body from the dresses, the gaze between the animal and the viewer. In looking at us the animals remain ‘in absentia’. Rarely does their gaze meet ours directly. In the desire for a reciprocal gaze we project our own emotions and interpretations, however the animals look beyond us and through us as we the observers seek momentary connection. Instead our projections are mirrored back to us, and their gaze reminds us of our imposition on their world.
The drawing has several ‘ghost’ images of the animal in the act of walking and is a reference to Muybridge’s photographs. The use of multiple movements echoes the shift of looking and being looked at. The observer observed.
Adriane Strampp January 2012