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Solo Exhibition ALTER: March 20, 2014

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Named, as the only visual artist, in last year's Courier Mail ‘Fifty best and brightest Queenslanders', Simone Eisler again journeys to Melbourne to stage her fifth solo show at Gallerysmith.

Eisler is known for her highly politically poetic exploration of accelerated evolutionary change caused by the rampant human exploitation of the earth. She generally works within the material confines of the animal kingdom, playing with the defensive armoury that animals possess - horns, shells, scales, skins etc. Conceptually in her presentation methodology, she ventures into the poetry and magic of fairy tales, hidden gardens, underwater worlds and forests. ‘Alter', like her previous Melbourne shows, continues the artist's use of animal materials in the creation of new landscapes and new forms and features a number of elegant and animated wall based sculptures, made from cow horn and small animal skeletons.

Eisler has sliced cow horns into small sections and skilfully reconfigured these sections into new fantastical and impossible forms. Each new form is beautifully polished and displays a multivarious patterning and colour due to the combination of segments from a broad range of different horns.

The title of the exhibition, whilst alluding to the notion of small scale change also has darker associations with the delicate tinkering of global ecosystems and climate. Eisler literally alters the physical materials she works with and also alludes to how we alter long term natural processes. It is on both the domestic and global levels that works in ‘Alter' sit. Each sculpture extends the already sinuous form of the horn into spiralling and snakelike shapes. They move away from simply signifying the lost host of the horn or the idea of a ‘trophy' by morphing ambiguously into either new hybrid creatures in their own right or forms of decorative talisman. Some of the works could be altar pieces fashioned for kings and queens of slithering snakes encrusted with jewels.

On a domestic level Eisler's sculptures combine the elegance, materiality and relationship to the body that is found in jewellery. In other words the works could be jewellery writ large. Again there is this ambiguity of positioning the works on a decorative level and as a conceptual statement. As an installation the works hint at a species grouping, new life forms with their own etymology. While a case can be made on a domestic level for the artistic search for pure abstract form, there is no escape from the idea of a ‘lived' experience. The works are presented in such a way to mimic museological display and thereby a fictional history of sorts.

On a global scale they may represent the accoutrement of an unearthed past civilization but could equally be new creatures of the future that have developed in a post climate change world.

Gallerysmith 20 March to 26 April, 2014 Melbourne Photography by Mick Richards Courtesy the artist and Gallerysmith, Melbourne