As I know it
Bamboo and white paint
Installation in abandoned building, Jogjakarta
As I Know It is a three-dimensional abstract drawing that manifests as an installation, proposing a structure that has multiple and potentially endless readings. Personally the readings are centred on notions of: memory, home, childhood, the built environment, history and spirituality. I approach my work from a formal positioning, letting the work evolve as the potential of the materials reveal themselves. As I Know It responds physically, a superimposed scaffolding growing around and through the site. It is a room from my psychology suspended with desires, histories, fears and all that stuff.
I first came upon bamboo scaffolding in Bali, 2005. Here I saw scaffolding frozen in time as the economy was stunted post the Bali bombings, this was especially true of buildings associated with the tourism trade. Bamboo scaffolding appeals as a hand-made organic form shrouding structures like crazy drawings; in a cycle of construction, repair and destruction – life and death. In Jogjakarta, post the 2006 earthquake the scaffolding potently symbolises a life and death cycle. In Australia scaffolding is mostly boring and regiment, just the construction of another ugly building.
The bamboo in As I Know It is painted white. Doing this transforms the material to a new reference point; for in Jogjakarta bamboo is everywhere. If in Australia I were to make a similar work I would leave the bamboo unpainted as it would speak uniquely. This methodology is about manipulating materials so they engage. Imbedded within the work are other white objects allowing for grace and seamless aesthetic.
The process of As I Know It has not only exposed me to new skills and materials but provides a platform for discourse and in doing so highlights the similarities between Javanese and Australian cultures.
Tobias Richardson, Jogjakarta 2009
As I Know it was part of Immemorial: reaching back beyond memory - an artistic collaboration between Darwin and Jogjakarta