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Canberra Today 8°/14° | Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Exhibition with an eye to the old power house

Rosalind Lemoh, Blue Tearsaw

Craft / Told. Retold. Untold, Rosalind Lemoh. At Canberra Glassworks, April 28. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.

Rosalind Lemoh makes sculpture and object-based works, and is especially skilled in casting new forms in concrete, bronze and aluminium and now, glass.

She has explored with great care and a very special eye the interior and exterior of the now Canberra Glassworks. As most will know, this outstanding organisation is located in the old Kingston Power House, which generated all the power for Canberra for many years.

The Power House is full of stories – told and untold – and with the careful repurposing of the building, much of the original fabric of the building is still visible, even if visitors are not allowed to view everything.

Lemoh is showing her interpretation of some of the stories, while employing word-play, particularly the word “power”. As often is the case with word-play, the works are enigmatic.

For the work Blue Tearsaw she called on a collection of geological core samples from the ANU and draped them in blue glass. The work refers to the few Australian female composers and artists.

Rosalind Lemoh’s I Drew a Line Like Lightning, 2024

For me, the outstanding work in the exhibition is I Drew a Line Like Lightning. Seemingly such a simple work, with a diagonal neon light resting on a piece of steel into which a rectangular piece of concrete has been cast, next to a bright Fluro pink perspex construction, it stands at the end of the main gallery. It draws together many of the ideas the artist had for this exhibition, that we are told about in the catalogue.

Another enigmatic work is The Skin of the Moon Through a Blue Window. Lemoh cast a piece of rockmelon, the smooth surface of the flesh contrasting with the dimpled skin of the fruit. This sits on a piece of white concrete through which she has marbled black oxide. Above, pale blue glass forms a window of sorts. Perhaps the skin of a rockmelon was discovered in her exploration of the Power House.

In the Link Gallery, Lemoh has included a work combining cast bronze with blown glass – I Fell from Wax to Water and Hot to Cold. A cast bronze “handle” has a large droplet of glass falling – the one piece of recognisable blown glass.

As part of the discovery of the Power House, but also perhaps a found object from another old building, Lemoh is showing Scattered in Translation. A group of large, steel nails is heaped with a few cast glass nails on the floor of the Smokestack Gallery.

Lemoh’s sculpture is interesting and challenging. Maybe now she will include glass as one of the materials she regularly works in.

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Ian Meikle, editor

Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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