Wanda Gillespie Vivian Gallery 31st August - 13 October 2019
Wanda Gillespie is a mystical archaeologist unveiling artefacts from realms on the periphery of our vision. Finely wood-carved human-like figures interact with subtle beings on tables as though pieces in a mystical board game. Abaci are re-imagined sculpturally, strung with found nuts and re-labelled Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators, while abstract carved paintings, or Higher Thought Forms, attempt to bring forth into the physical world that which is invisible: a central theme in the artists’ work. The Mathematician who Gave his Heart Away to the Universe looks longingly at an abacus sculpture, contemplating the nature of reality, molecular structures and the unfathomable perfection of our existence. The Dream Believer communes telepathically, eyes closed, with a subtle being, Mountain Seer, whose eyes appear wise beneath a bark wood head covering. Enigmatic talismans created from found nuts, beads and wool, protect the carved figures. Kauri nuts cast in concrete offer a contemplation on the plight of these ancient Gondwanalandian trees - perhaps the figures are then dancing in an Ode to Kauri. Higher thought forms are summoned as carved paintings on Kauri boards. Their swirling wanderings of speckled carved marks with gold flecks illustrate higher thought merging with lofty musings. Abacus sculptures or Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators dance amongst the carved figures and on walls. Using the Golden Ratio in her dimensions, Gillespie redesigns the abacus, contemplating nature’s perfection in mathematics and sacred geometry. Framed by walnut, curved geometric shapes created from brass rods are threaded with found nuts such as Sheoak or Gumnut. Cast concrete geometric feet ground the wooden piece in a contemporary time, with a nod to Brancussi. The stone conjures thoughts of the neolithic monuments of Stonehenge, our most ancient calculator. Through these abacus sculptures, we contemplate the absurdity of humanity’s obsession with numbers: attempting to count that which can’t be counted becomes a poetic gesture.