TRASH is treasure for artist Susan Flavell.
Her Hamilton Hill studio is crammed with broken crockery and a mind boggling assortment of bric-a-brac, including the bust of an oriental woman she discovered on a vacant lot in China.
Op-shops are another rich vein of inspiration and Flavell is more than happy to accept other people’s unwanted objects, including a wedding ring from a divorced friend.
The ring is just one of the many curios featured in her exhibition, She Who Scribes the Sorrows.
“With love comes loss,” Flavell explains.
Other tiny objects include a child-like doll, with a noose around its neck, and a golden orchid.
“Sigmund Freud was the kind of man you give orchids to,” Flavell says.
The artist is a big fan of Freud, and she centered one of her exhibitions around the pioneering psychoanalyst.
Like Flavell, he also liked to collect curios.
“I am interested in objects that have an agency of their own, objects that can act on others, and how a person’s collection of objects, however dense and obtuse, reflects their internal world,” she says.
The love goddess in She Who Scribes the Sorrows is one of thirteen that will all feature in a planned mega installation.
Also on at Turner Gallery is Nathan Beard’s Siamese Smize, which features photographs from his mother’s abandoned home in Thailand.
In an artistic twist, the faces of family members have been overlaid with Swarovski crystal masks.
Lia McKnight’s Everyday Sacred is an exploration of life, death, sex and magic, and the interplay between the real and the imagined.
Jacobus Capone’s Passage is a series of paintings, prints and synchronised videos, showcasing the delicate exchange of water between a lake in Tasmania and an ice cave in the Arctic.
The four artists are on display at Turner Galleries in Northbridge from September 14 to October 13.
by JENNY D’ANGER