The latest instalment of the Guildhouse Collections Project opened on August 2nd at the Art Gallery of South Australia. UniSA alumnus Honor Freeman launched her extraordinary new body of work, Ghost objects, at AGSA's Radford Auditorium in conversation with Annabel Crabb.
A unique venture that began in 2014, the Collections Project supports practitioners to produce new works of art in response to diverse collections across three major South Australian cultural institutions: Art Gallery of South Australia, Flinders University Art Museum, and the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia. Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery, Leigh Robb, describes the project as “a means to readdress the history and distribution of power in an institution by opening it up to the artists it serves.”
Developed in response to mourning objects and works of art that address grief within the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Ghost objects explores vessels and materials that physically and metaphorically address grief and loss. Working mostly in porcelain, Freeman’s practice observes, explores and disrupts the ordinariness of the objects that occupy the domestic realm.
“A recurring theme of ghosts – the invisible, the unknown makers, the disappeared – has emerged as I explore objects found in ancient Roman tombs, ritual objects, objects of mourning, and pieces that show proudly the signs of mending and repair,” says Freeman.
“Objects brought back to life with traditional mending techniques, metal staples repairing porcelain and Kintsugi, a Japanese technique of mending pottery using lacquer dusted with gold, silver, or platinum, depict the history on the object’s surface.”
The Collections Project has provided a range of artists with both enriching professional development opportunities and the opportunity to work towards technical and conceptual developments in practice. Emma Fey, Chief Executive Officer at Guildhouse, described Freeman’s exhibition in the Melrose Wing at the Art Gallery of South Australia as “sensitive and arresting at the same time.”
Presented as part of the 2019 South Australian Living Artists Festival, view Ghost objects in Gallery 16 until September 29.