Denese Oates is a Sydney-based sculptor who has been exhibiting for over thirty years. Her sculptures are often a mass of intertwined copper wires fashioned into abstracted organic forms, each piece beautifully constructed and created with a symmetry of its own. Denese has a fascination with nature on a minute scale, schematically mapping out human and botanical vascular systems that resemble strange organic forms transplanted from a mysterious landscape. Of her new works, she has often incorporated pre-existing objects such as books, building her copper structures upon them. As Denese explains, these works “explore the idea that inspiration springs from a myriad of places, and that a universe of knowledge may be encased in small packages, ready to burst into the sunlight.” Having worked with the malleable potential of paper in her earlier career, Denese now uses metal, in particular copper and corten steel to mould her abstract creations. Her choice of metal as the preferred medium creates a dichotomy between the durability of her pieces and the transient and fragile subject matter that 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 many collections including Parliament House, Artbank, University of New South Wales, Christchurch City Collection (NZ) and many Australian regional galleries.