Natasha Frisch, Somewhere In Between

Art Press Release from Australia. Published by Rebecca Gabrielle Cannon on Tuesday 14 September 2010.

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A recent exhibition of sculptures by Natasha Frisch holds a lesson for all galleries on the importance of protecting delicate works from the public.

Natasha Frisch is an Australian sculptor who recreates common objects from delicate materials. She uses time-consuming processes to create compellingly real facsimiles of the original objects: sometimes spending months to create a single work.

During her exhibition ‘Somewhere In Between’, Natasha saw two of her ‘wooden’ chairs shown at Dianne Tanzer Gallery in Melbourne. The works, although made from fragile tracing paper, were so realistic that a visitor to the gallery mistook them for real chairs and sat on them, unfortunately destroying the works.

Frisch says she has had her work damaged before. "It’s hard to make people understand the fragility of the pieces and the care that needs to be taken in order for them to be shown.

I had my ladder, Sometimes it’s easier to just pretend, in the CAE Ola Cohen prize a few years ago, it was at the City Library and I was nervous about putting it in when I heard there wouldn’t be any invigilators. My instincts proved right, the ladder got damaged and they were unable to compensate me."

Although she spent months creating the original chairs for her exhibition at Dianne Tanzer Gallery, the work has since been selected for the upcoming Yering Station Sculpture Award exhibition. Frisch is busy recreating the works from scratch, but does not yet know if the gallery’s insurance will cover the costs, which are significant.

Despite the obvious fragility of the pieces, Frisch says that she was disappointed to learn when inspecting the site for the upcoming show at Yering that there will not be a caretaker for the work.

She says “I found it a little difficult to make the person organising the event understand that the chairs would need to be protected by some form of acrylic enclosure, but I can’t see any other way if they are to survive 7 weeks.”

Frisch’s enthralling ability to accurately capture the fine details of physical objects is the very skill which makes her work so vulnerable. It’s difficult to believe that sculptures made from tracing paper could ever be mistaken for a real wooden object, but when you see these works in real life, it’s easy to see how the mistake could be made. Frisch has an unbelieveable ability to convey the weight, age and ‘presence’ of the authentic materials.

Frisch has a background in photography which has informed her sculptural practice. She has translated the photographic process of creating a facsimile to the artistic media of sculpture. The results provide an intriguing contribution to the formal analysis of both photographic and sculptural practice, where objects nor photographs can never achieve the realism of their original counterparts, but instead take on a captivating position ‘somewhere in between’.

Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards will be held 24 October to 05 December 2010.

Natasha Frisch on Artabase

Yering Station Gallery on Artabase