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By Sharne Wolff
What was that you said? Posh work? No. How’s pork? Whaaaat? Oh… I get it now, you mean ‘Workshop’… Emily Floyd’s new exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery consists of a large sculpture comprising metal alphabet letters each around 1.5 metres high. The letters, constructed in smooth rounded metal shapes, are painted in bright primary colours combined with black and white. When arranged in their intended sequence they spell the word ‘WORKSHOP’.
Floyd is interested in investigating various theories and graphic styles from the twentieth century as well as education and knowledge systems existing outside the mainstream. WORKSHOP is partly based on the modern designs of the Bauhaus school of holistic art and design education that operated in Germany between the wars. In particular, a wooden block set made for children introduced coloured blocks to create a ‘bright, cheerful mood’ and broke new ground in children’s toy design in the 1920s. Floyd’s sculpture demonstrates that these letters, while performing their most basic function as language, can be enjoyed as aesthetically pleasing entities in their own right. The artist’s interest in the possibilities for new thinking, which emerge from a pamphlet for a 1980s socialist think-tank in Sydney entitled ‘The Broad Left Conference’, also come together here in Floyd’s (quite literal) workshop.
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Darlington
Until November 10, 2012
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