2 - 21 April 2009
about the exhibition
Denese Oates is a Sydney-based sculptor who has been exhibiting for over thirty years. Denese has evolved her practice away from exploring the malleable potential of paper as she did in her earlier sculptural works and now uses metal, in particular copper wire and corten steel to mould her abstract creations. Inspired by human and botanical vascular systems, many of Denese’s sculptures are composed of masses of interlocked and woven wires that resemble strange organic forms transplanted from a mysterious landscape. That imaginary landscape is partly inspired by John Keats’ ‘The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream’ (1819) where the poet describes a timeless garden of strange fruits, floral wreaths and arbours symbolic of poetic imagination. Admiration of Keats’ language and literary imagery is apparent in some of the names of the works in the exhibition. Denese’s choice of metal as her preferred medium creates a dichotomy between the durability of her pieces and the transient and fragile subject matter she depicts.
Born in Orange in the central west of NSW, Denese moved to Sydney to study at the Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education in Sydney (now College of Fine Art, UNSW) before embarking on extensive travels in Japan, Papua New Guinea, Europe and North and South America. Denese has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationwide and her work is represented in the Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra; Christchurch City Collection, NZ; Artbank, Sydney; University of New South Wales, Sydney; Alexander Mackie Collection, Sydney; Wollongong City Art Gallery, NSW; Burnie Art Gallery, Tas; Rockhampton Art Gallery, Qld; Orange Regional Gallery, NSW; New England Regional Art Museum, NSW; and University of Sydney Union Art Collection, Sydney.