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  • Pomarius

Anya Gallaccio - Artist Influence

It seems it would be strange not to mention the work of Anya Gallaccio as an artist influence given the connection of bronze fruit! The tremendous installations by Gallaccio reverse the materials of a fruitful harvest, forcing fresh apples to rot on metal trees (As I Could Not Stop, 2002). In other works, she adorns barren fruit trees with a good harvest, leaving them to linger as the fresh apples break down and rot around them (Blessed, 1999). The transient nature of her work, rotting and disintegrating, famously undermined the notion of the monument or museum bound artwork.

As part of her installation work and use of organic or perishable materials, Gallaccio has made use of direct casting. In truth, I came to her work after I began experimenting with bronze. It’s natural, perhaps, to seek out others working in the same medium once you get going with a process or technique.

Image: The Inner Space Within, 2008 and Preserve 'Beauty', 1991/1993 by Anya Gallaccio

The images I’m listing here are from the catalogue kindly long loaned to me by another artist. She was working at the studio I trained in [Butley Mills] and was in many ways a bridge into the atelier environment. I can happily say the artist in question is now a good friend. Back in 2013, she had quickly leant me a pair of overalls and some old boots when I arrived very green and completely unprepared to the foundry to help with a bronze pour. The catalogue had been hanging around her studio for some time when I came across it (I should probably give it back now).

Image: The foundry at Butley

I’ve seen many works of late with a similar aesthetic to Gallaccio’s - largely coming from those responding to our current environmental situation, themes of the Anthropocene (and Chthulucene if you’re reading Donna Harraway). Pieces in Janet Laurence’s After Nature exhibition at MCA Australia immediately jump to mind. It’s strange to me that this visual language seems so well configured in the work of Gallaccio, though the content of her work feels closer to that of a 16th century Vanitas or a Nature morte. By contrast, these themes seem a peculiarly human (dare I say anthropocentric) concern.

Perhaps somewhere within that unintentionally shared aesthetic, there’s a hope that that we’ll come full circle and reunite with nature once again. As it is met aesthetically, it is both macro and micro at once. A global climate crisis and a personal confrontation with our own mortality is culminates in the same visual outcome.

The catalogue documented here is Anya Gallaccio published through Ridinghouse.


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