Melanie Irwin Geodesic Envelopes

Melanie Irwin
8 March 15 June 2014
Heide III: Kerry Gardner & Andrew Myer Project Gallery
Linda Michael
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'Geodesic Envelopes' emerges from Melanie Irwin’s interest in how our bodies are entangled with the angular and geometric structures of our environment and the architectural spaces we inhabit. Each weekend during the exhibition, live performers attempt to create a sphere out of a large costume of stretchy fabric using only their bodies and parts of everyday objects collected by Irwin from hard rubbish and junkyards. The whitened objects minimise distraction and focus our attention on processes and shifting abstract forms. Sewn from triangular lycra and mesh panels, the costume – also white – is a soft version of a geodesic dome of architect Buckminster Fuller, which over the course of the performance is stretched and manipulated into ever-changing abstract conglomerations that allude to the protective, isolating or modular potential of architectural form. Like the skin or the stomach, it responds to the rigidity of the objects. The performance emphasises the active agency of our bodies and their elasticity and adaptability in response to changing, demanding and constrictive circumstances.

Irwin’s performances supported by an Australian Artists’ Grant, a NAVA initiative made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court AC and the support of the Visual Arts Panel, Australia Council for the Arts.