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How we perceive images and objects and their associated historical meaning has been a central focus of Sanné Mestrom’s practice for several years. Working predominantly in sculpture and painting, her style favours the modernist penchant for clean lines and bold forms and inherently questions how we encounter our cultural landscape.

For CORRECTIONS, Mestrom tilts the focus away from the references to specific modernist images seen in her previous work to encompass how we perceive the human body as a vessel of flaws and limitations. In a series of sculptures, Mestrom uses the malleable materials of concrete and bronze “to create an ode to both the potential and the limitations of matter – in particular to the matter of ourselves – the physical and the metaphysical self, the corporeal and temporal body, the burdensome and the invisible.”

The female body is an integral part of CORRECTIONS, as are the cultural and historical ideals associated with it. “The works embody a range of subtle (and not so subtle) ‘corrections’, interventions and contortions to the figurative sculptural forms, distorting and deforming the figurative elements – at times – to the point of no recognition,” Mestrom explains.

“The degradation of existing form frames a provocative stance on self-expression, gender and artistic influence, particularly as the ‘corrections’ pertain to the history of the ever-idealised and idolised female nude.”

While Mestrom has shifted her thematic focus to the female form, her work still retains a modernist sensibility. A palette of stark white is o set by lashings of black and her sculptural forms are a careful blend of geometric angles clustered with spherical forms, gently recalling the three-dimensional work of Brancusi and Picasso. “In a way, I’m referencing the modernists who were touched by something very profound and ancient. So, I’m just extending that forward. I’m bringing that legacy into the contemporary moment.”

CORRECTIONS
Sanné Mestrom
Sullivan + Strumpf
19 August – 9 September

Briony Downes