Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, France
Bronwyn Oliver, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 1988
The intricately woven copper form of 'Comet II' represents a seminal shift in Bronwyn Oliver's early practice. Exhibited in the artist's self-titled show at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in 1988, this work is one of the earliest instances of Oliver's craftsmanship with copper, having previously sculpted with materials such as paper, cane and fibreglass. The work is a stunning example of what would become the artist's signature practice; the painstaking manipulation of copper into elegant, deceptively simple forms which echo the organic shapes of plant and sea life.
Curator Amanda Rowell has written of Oliver's work: "Their tactility and anatomical physicality gives them an animal-like quality. They remind us that the world is a corporeal place." However, while this sculpture undoubtedly evokes the idiosyncratic structure of a jellyfish, the title of the work sends our imaginings in a dual direction: not only to the depths of the ocean, but also to the outer reaches of the universe. In titling the work 'Comet II' the artist complicates the way that we initially see the artwork, pulling into focus the fabulous ambiguity and infinite possibilities of Oliver's forms.