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The Art Chemist Prescribes…

Visual Arts
image Audrey Baldwin – The Art Chemist

“Dear Art Chemist,

I’m not ready for winter! I feel grey, drained and useless!

What can I see to help me deal with the change of seasons?


Summer Lover”

The change of season can feel deflating and draining; on top of dealing with an ongoing pandemic AND late-stage capitalism, it is A Time indeed!

As an antidote to grey days and low moods, I prescribe a lunchtime visit to CoCA Toi Moroki, where you’ll find an exhibition absolutely buzzing with colour and energy to refill your flagging spirits.

If visual stimulus isn’t enough, grab an expertly crafted coffee from Luxe downstairs – coffee is both a science and an art, after all.

image Choir, 2021. Judy Darragh

Choir, 2021

Found plastic forms, wood

This ‘fence’, leaning casually against the gallery wall, is electric with colour – found objects have been transformed into sculptural forms. They’re hot glued, wired and screwed to the undulating corrugations – set into organised lines; yet the bold hues still run riot. Let the noise of the colours course through your body – feel it across shoulders and at your fingertips; let your eyes dance along the surfaces that protrude and fall back.

Unfocus your gaze over the work and see where it lands. Can you make out the original ‘purpose’ of any of the objects? Does its original purpose matter?   Think about how the everyday, the often abandoned to opshops and garage sales has been sought out and rejuvenated through a simple reframing of how we look at and approach it. Take a moment to think about the transformation of these objects and how this might apply to people. It’s not just objects that hold value beyond their ‘usefulness’.

image Capital, 2021. Judy Darragh

Capital, 2021

Chiffon, scarves, wood, plastic, foam, fabric

This work could be a portrait of how many of us might be feeling – a bit askew, trying to hold ourselves and others together in a delicate balancing act. Let your held breath out to ruffle the feathers and try to regather your sense of self.

Imagine yourself as the fabulous horse. Be camp, be bold, puff your chest out, laugh loudly and channel your inner rainbow glitter beast when you can. And if you need to be the beige pleated skirt from time to time, remember it’s all part of the same wonderful assemblage.

Judy Darragh’s Competitive Plastics is on show at CoCA Toi Moroki until 7 May.

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