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29 AUGUST 2005

Rosalie Gascoigne: Bricoleur

"Claude Levi Strauss once described the artist as a bricoleur, the one who, when the rest of the nomadic tribe has moved on, remains among the discards of little value, the bric–a–brac which has been left behind by his/her more pragmatic kinsmen, those scraps of bright fabric, Pointed firesticks, a cracked cooking pot, chicken skulls. From these disparate objects the bricoleur creates a work of art something which pleases the eye, gives them a good 'read', as Rosalie Gascoigne described the way she looked and looked and looked again at her work in process. Nobody had a better eye than she for creating wonders from the 'inorganic refuse' of humanity and discards of nature: old faded Schweppes boxes, swan feathers, great grey sheets of corrugated iron abandoned in tips or tossed aside in the sun–burnt scrubby country around Canberra which she grew to love. She hated the word 'junk'. It was an insult to the treasures she found or begged, and lugged home to transform into works of subtle mystery, strong contrasts of textures, shapes and colours; beauty where one did not expect to find it. She says somewhere, (and incidentally I have never known an artist speak about their work with such endearing clarity) that she never used anything that had not been 'open to the weather'."
(Barbara Anderson)

O'Brien, G., D. Thomas, et al. (2004). Rosalie Gascoigne: Plain Air. Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington in association with Victoria University Press.

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TAGS

Aotearoa New ZealandartistAustralia • bric-a-brac • bricoleurCanberraClaude Levi-Strauss • Daniel Thomas • discarded • Gregory O'Brien • inorganic refuseNew Zealand artist • Rosalie Gascoigne • signagestreet sign
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