Glenelg, South Australia, Australia born 1957
Interior under scrutiny no 12
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: woodwork, carved English lime wood and paint
The structure of the human body and its systems of conduits and musculature is the point of departure for the carved wood objects of Catherine Truman. Meticulously carved and painted, they resemble antique anatomical models, yet with their elusive purpose they transcend instructive biology. A jeweller by training, Truman applies a precise logic to the production of small, hand-held objects in which the rigidity of wood is made visually subservient to the elasticity invoked by objects such as tubes, bladders and gullets. Through them, we are able to visualise the inner sensations of the body, particularly those that make us aware of our fragility, such as breathing, choking, digestion or spasm. With their talismanic and semiotic presence, an industrial ambiguity also surrounds these objects, reminding us of our increasing dependence and trust in the electromechanical systems that deliver fresh air and water to our interior environments.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra