A street sweepers work is never done. As the paths and streets are cleaned, the wind blows the debris back and the process starts again. Attracted to the colour of bright plastic debris, the artist collects such objects as he walks the streets of Hobart.
Finding beauty in the discarded, the artist then takes these objects and arranged them in his studio.
In this installation, Joseph Gracia illuminates found see-through plastic objects, highlighting the beauty of their colour and form. The objects are allowed to shine and take on a new life after they were discarded as rubbish in the streets. As indicators of a specific time and place, the objects tell a story about the society that discarded them. Drinking straws, swizzle sticks, found combs, cigarette lighters and other objects are arranged according to their colours, creating a multi-coloured illuminated display. Not only concerned with the environmental issues of the production of plastic, the artist is also questioning the society that continues to demand the production of such disposable objects. The Lightbox becomes a stronghold, where the objects are elevated slightly from their original resting place of the street. The street level position of the Lightbox becomes an ideal place to display the objects. Arranged carefully on see through Perspex, the objects are lit from behind, creating an effect of illumination.
The name of the exhibition, Night Light, also hints at the source of some of the objects on display. Often relating to drug and alcohol use in the night life of many Australian citizens, the objects on display here tell a story of disregard and carelessness. This disregard is not only for the environment and other people, but also becomes an act of self destruction.
Salamanca Arts Centre, 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart
Friday 1 – Saturday 30 April 2016