NZSOS 2016

Natalie Guy

Guy's works sit lightly within a classically modernist tradition – a tradition consigned by many to the past but one that remains persistent and perhaps as relevant as ever.

There is a wilful hybridity to her work as she chooses materials that expand and question the orthodoxies of the modernist approach to material.  Guy works across various media including found object, bronze, glass and wood, making works that are at once a homage of sorts to the loaded symbolism that accompanies modernity and yet her material choices appear to dematerialise the memory of the original but not its legacy.

There are often traces of domestic objects, re-configured and re-cast, though still carrying a nostalgia for the warm and familiar. Yet these sculptures are constantly bio-morphing away from their reference points towards a modest, more open, contemporary symbolism. 

One can sense a lineage back to Hepworth and Noguchi but Guy invites the tricks and failings of memory so as to liberate the new works from that history. Increasingly the objects themselves imply site, particularly the utopian visions for example of the 1966 Sonsbeek Pavilion by Aldo Van Eyck, Japanese internal gardens (karensansui) and Mies Van der Rhodes Brutalist architectural and public spaces. Against the diluted versions of modernism that contaminate so much recent corporate and retail construction, Guys works seem to want to act as poignant mementos, if not to the lofty aims of high modernism at least to the sensitivity that accompanied the best modernist aesthetics.

Guy graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2013, after completing a Post Graduate Diploma in 2011. Guy has exhibited frequently and has been represented in all the major contemporary art awards in New  Zealand over recent years. She was awarded a Merit Award in the National Contemporary Art Award 2014 and won the  Woollahra Small Sculpture Award (Australia) in 2014. Guy is represented by Fox Jensen/Jensen Gallery in Auckland, New  Zealand and Sydney, Australia. 


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