Maintaining personal space in Different Cloth/Common Threads


For the last 30 years, artists David Jensz and Wendy Teakel have lived together and shared a studio. But, as their latest show, Different Cloth/Common Threads, demonstrates, they also maintain distinct artistic identities. Which is not to say that they don’t also work together.

“We help each other,” Jensz says, “but our ideas are ’owned’ by each of us.” Or as Teakel puts it, “We collaborate by sharing life’s load on all fronts.”

Teakel presents sculptures and drawings that evoke drought-stricken landscapes. She uses rusty corrugated iron, fencing wire and natural materials, all in earthy, ochre tones. Jensz works with black rubber and brightly painted steel and fibreglass to create large sculptures that seem to probe the mysteries of the quantum universe on a macro scale. These are complemented by luminous digital prints.

Wendy Teakel, Grove, 2014. H 350 X W 350 X D 280 cm, wood, steel, cable ties, photo credit: David Paterson.

When asked to choose their favourite piece made by the other, Jensz selects Teakel’s Paddock Near By, 2016. “There is nothing that is particularly literal in this work,” he says, “but there are enough clues to make you rethink how you view the landscape around you.” Teakel’s favourite sculpture by Jensz is Fissure, 2016. She acknowledges that it reflects his interest in science, adding, “For me it also references contemporary time and makes me think of the environment and the constraints we are putting on it.”

Their works are very different, but Jensz and Teakel share an interest in the natural world around them. And they both agree that the secret to successfully working in such close proximity is knowing when to keep quiet. As Teakel explains, “We are very respectful of each other’s processes and we don’t offer advice or critique unless asked.”

Different Cloth/Common Threads
David Jensz and Wendy Teakel
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
28 October – 3 December

Preview Words by Tracey Clement