Blackheath artists in Cementa Festival

Blackheath artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro are part of the Cementa Festival of contemporary art at Kandos from November 21-24.

The new work called Jack, 2019 will be located near the 1st Kandos Scout Hall.

Past work from the artists: Mondo Futuro, detail, 2018, wood powered, gasified Mercedes Benz 220S. Photo: Jonah Cordeiro

Past work from the artists: Mondo Futuro, detail, 2018, wood powered, gasified Mercedes Benz 220S. Photo: Jonah Cordeiro

A car is parked somewhere in Kandos. It only has 3 wheels. The fourth wheel has been removed and the car sits there with a concrete sculpture propping up the chassis. The car door is ajar and from within the car is playing a song sung by Dame Nellie Melba.

Their work is inspired by a vision that can sometimes be seen, driving along a lonely highway. A stranded car, a missing wheel and a large rock used as a jack to prop up the car while the wheel is being removed. A strange vision, seemingly linking the stone age to the industrial age.

Instead of a rock, the artists will use a concrete sculpture, nothing fancy, something that can be purchased at ALDI or a garage sale. The sculpture will be more along the lines of something found in a garden rather than under a pyramid.

The car will have the appearance of having been hastily abandoned, like something from The Cars that Ate Paris or the original Mad Max: a sign of the end of times. From the car emanates the sounds of a century ago: Dame Nellie Melba, an International opera singer that took Melbourne as her stage name.

The work will bring into focus the difficulty Australia has with the idea of 'culture'. High culture is hard work, it is practicing your scales on the piano, it's reading books, it's memorising dance moves. It is the kind of solitary work that Australia does not celebrate.

How do we produce culture that is authentic to the Australian experience? The artists believe these tensions are especially obvious when talking about culture in regional Australia. How do we create work that is not the emulation of another culture nor is it 'the loaded dog'.

Australia is dry. It's wit is dry. The culture is even drier.

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