As an artist working within the field of jewellery and small objects, Sue Lorraine is aware of their power to eroticise and focus attention on the parts of the body where they are worn or placed. For her, however, the more visceral, yet equally sensual aspects of the inner body are more compelling subjects for scrutiny and interpretation. She understands the way the physiology of the human body is frequently visualised through the schematised and diagrammatic representations of its functions, used to illustrate popular medical texts or didactic science museum exhibits. This work focuses on the lung, the body’s organ of breath, giving form to its role of circulating air and life. Its abstracted, hard-edged construction in steel, sprung, forged and coloured with heat, is a metaphor for the strength and resilience of the lungs, as well as a reminder of its susceptibility to the effects of the industrial environment.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010