Brendon Taylor - 'State of the heART'
Wednesday 22 June - Saturday 9 July 2022
"Influences from Pop Art and Surrealism crept into my art at an early age from reading books on Surrealism (Magritte in particular) and Pop Art in general that my older brother owned. These influences have stayed with me all my life and seem to emerge subconsciously.
I have always liked combining unrelated objects to create a new way of seeing or telling a story. Humour has often played a part in my work even when the subject matter may be serious. The titles are often, but not always, play on words and puns: even song titles at times. I have found this a great tool to entice people to see the messages contained within. To engage with as many people as I can has alway been important to me.
As far as subject matter goes, it usually comes from a personal place: either from observations or experiences. Working at Museums Victoria as a Preparator since 1999 has definitely played a part in influencing my work. The materials I use are diverse. I think of something I want to make then try to find the materials that will bring the object to life. This frees me up to lots of subject matter but keeps my tool shed very full.
Why so many hearts in this particular exhibition? The heart series of sculptures came about for two reasons. One, I wanted to make something that was organic and technically challenging (being anatomically correct hearts). The second reason was when I first started making these I was 48. The same age as my father when he died of a heart attack. A milestone of sorts.
Although this was a sombre start to the series, it soon became a starting point and humour was added such as Racing Heart #1 and #2. The 'emotional' heart or love hearts were a natural progression of the series - although I was very conscious not to let these fall into the kitsch or corny category.
My sculptures often have an environmental aspect such as Deep Dive and Dumpster Dive. Again the juxtaposition of elements make a humorous image but under closer examination there is a more serious message. Again, working at the museum, I have access to scientists, experts and specimens that help inform my works. These join a series of sculptures with a marine theme that I have produced over the years.
The caravan series of sculptures was inspired by my wife, Kerry, during one of the lockdown periods when she stated I wish we could just take off in the caravan. These are whimsical pieces: a reaction to a certain situation in a time where lives and lifestyles were dramatically changed. Never underestimate the whimsical.
Disappearing Trade #1 is my first sculpture in a series I intend to continue in the future. It represents how technology is changing and evolving and how we are losing some of our trades and the skills that accompany them. It’s a comment on how life is continuously moving and evolving and of evolution in general."