Wednesday 14 October 2015

Installation for Archibald Prize Exhibition 2

Week 2 (11 October 2015): Shoso Shimbo's installation for Archibald Prize Exhibition at Art Gallery of Ballarat. His work will evolve in next 2 weeks.

Cage (Bird of paradise / Paradise of birds)

Shoso Shimbo

In creating this work to celebrate the Archibald Prize Exhibition, the question I asked myself was “how can I, as an Ikebana artist, pay homage to the most significant portraiture award in Australia?” 

My original inspiration come from Self Portraits by Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). In her works Frida herself is in the midst of lush green foliage, flowers, birds and monkeys. It seems to me that the forest behind her represents an ideal state of spiritual freedom that is in contrast to her physically tormented reality. The role of nature in these works resonated for me as I am always interested in the relationship between humans and the natural world.   

I chose chicken wire to create a head, which in some ways resembles a cage. The chicken wire as well as the metal frame within creates a separation between the inner space and the unlimited freedom outside the work. Are we restricted by the reality of our physical being or can we allow our imagination to take us outside our cages and into the forest of our spirituality? In the back of my mind I also had some images of refugees who are sometimes kept in cage like circumstances, dreaming of the freedom that lies outside the cage. 

Although birds are usually kept inside a wire cage, you may see them enjoying themselves outside the cage in this work.