21 May – 09 Oct 2022
The deflated and drooping.
The limp and languorous.
The floppy and flagging.
Through half-inflated balloons, dripping doilies, wilting statues and flaccid recorders, Droop is a playful exploration of material and form in contemporary sculpture. This exhibition brings together four local and international artists who work in a mode of ‘floppy formalism’, using materials like ceramic, stone and silicone in unexpected and absurd ways.
Featuring the works of Te-Whanganui-a-tara (Wellington) sculptor Caitlin Devoy, UK-based Canadian ceramicist Erica Eyres, Italian video artist Emiliano Neroni and Ōtautahi (Christchurch) stone carver Renee Pearson, Droop rebels against the chiselled abs and raging masculinity of Classical sculpture. Emiliano Neroni literally knocks it off its pedestal, with his surreal video of marble statues collapsing into quivering rubbery piles. Meanwhile, Caitlin Devoy uses fleshy silicone to transform familiar items into limp, floppy forms that seem to lack…ahem…a certain vitality.
Hewn from solid greywacke, Renee Pearson’s carvings of delicately draped doilies is a clever contrast between the traditional gendered associations of masculine stone-carving and feminine lacemaking. Erica Eyres takes inspiration from the discarded costumes and props of low-budget daytime television—a far cry from the epic subject matter favoured in Antiquity.
The artists in Droop are united by a sense of deadpan comedy, and interest in the material and symbolic possibilities of floppy forms. Together these works also capture a sense of the current mood in the world: that droopy, deflated, drained feeling that many of us have been experiencing during the pandemic.