Traces of Absence / Duality (diptych)

Material: ‘Rena’ brush ware and enamel ware catalogue; 1939 & nickel silver + ‘Maxime & Co. Ltd.’ illustrated price list; 1911 & treated copper.
90 x 74 cm each (diptych)

If art serves to celebrate life, to capture and re-present the everyday, Duality epitomises this sentiment. The diptych takes two twentieth-century catalogues – one of household sundries, the other furniture – and celebrates each for form and colour. The humble everyday object – the scrubbing brush, broom and copper basin – is brown, colouring the earthly materials of metal and wood that build our basic implements. The elements of life are assorted, abstracted by planes of metal – bright copper that draws on each image’s rich tones – that symbolise everything in-between. Furniture is blue, luxurious in comparison – all polished surface with chair legs curved in decadence for design. Nickel silver winks in oily blue rainbows, iridescent with its blue glaze; glowing with decoration and solid with multiplicity, each represents all the rest. These metals, their surfaces changing with the colours of their treatment, remind us of process, of the work behind each seemingly simple object; life jumps into art.