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Adam Rish - Exhibition Text

    Sydney based artist and medico Adam Rish, well known for his 'world art' collaborations, has contributed works to the City of Hobart Art Prize from his latest exhibition, “Ethnographica”, at Michael Nagy Gallery, Woollahra. On show are life-size wooden sculptures made in collaboration with I Wayan Sumantra in Jungjungan, Bali. The exhibition is based upon traditional carving from Southeast Asia and more specifically tau-tau spirit figures from Sulawesi and horse sculptures from West Timor. Rish has anamorphosed these images with his contemporary domestic iconography: In “My Kingdom for a Horse” the horse is riding backwards on the back of a blind king. “Totem”, based upon an Asmat house pole, shows a stack of cars, phones, houses and soldiers surmounted by winged AK47’s and a little king. “Noah” has a man in a suit walking his boat over dry land while “Banci” shows a two headed hermaphrodite. “Etiket/Etiquette” is a glass coffee table supported by a kneeling figure with a carrot in his rectum. “Bidadari Jatuh/Fallen Angel” has a dunce capped angel in the corner on his mobile phone. Also included in the show are the original sculpture designs on Tongan tapa cloth. Traditionally tau-tau sculptures were used in ceremonial burials to represent the deceased in the after-life. Rish says he doubts many of his collectors will be doing this with these pieces but, in our super-functional society, is sure they will make very fine, garden furniture.   

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Despard Gallery
15 Castray Esplanade, Hobart Tasmania 7000, Australia.
Phone: +61 3 6223 8266 Fax: +61 3 6223 6496 E-mail: steven@despard-gallery.com.au