‘No wonder, you sense mysteriousness’

by Isobel Atacus

July 2020

‘No wonder, you sense mysteriousness’ was amongst a set of found phrases taken from various astrological websites, from different zodiac signs, at the summer solstice. Once removed from origin, the phrases began to shape themselves, to suggest their own rhythm and sense of meaning. The works explore our reliance on the internet for esoteric guidance; a series of hit and miss exercises over the surface of an unknowable terrain, bringing both comfort and dismay. Comprising scanned works on carbon paper (whose constellations of dust trace their own search history), scanned tourmaline crystal, found text and video, No wonder, you sense mysteriousness presents works that remain of the screen, on the screen.


Bringing together fabricated and found objects, often using poetry as an impetus or bridge, my work moves across sculpture, installation and text, to rest in the porous border between something narrative and something more abstract. I am drawn to materials that seem to go against their initial reading, as a way of exploring how language is ascribed to material, and the way flows of material might be mediated, redirected, or altered in some way. The resulting work often comprises small collections or arrangements that can be seen to mimic – or contaminate – a kind of archival process.


There is also an attraction towards glitches, both human and technological, and the ways they interrupt the smooth processes of production to create alternate forms of circulation. In recent work dust and finger marks have come to have a strong material presence, as a means of playing with instances of mistranslation and mistake. This brings up questions of how value is ascribed to these precarious materials, and how materials resist any such construction or constraint. (www.isobelatacus.com)


I also direct a curatorial project, the icing room, an artist-run space and press founded in 2016.

© 2020 by GOLDMALI Gallery

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