A compelling presence
Posted: 23 Dec 2012 | By: Louise Martin-Chew
If Pain Persists: Linde Ivimey Sculpture 2004–2012
University of Queensland Art Museum
3 November 2012–25 March 2013
Cairns Regional Gallery
26 April–28 June 2013
Take Two: Linde Ivimey
Jan Murphy Gallery, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane
6 November–1 December 2012
Linde Ivimey’s sculptures are unusual in their source materials (bones, fabric, hair, wax, gemstones, teeth), complex and intricate in construction, and have palpable emotional resonance. They tend to polarise — most people are intrigued and attracted by the child-sized figures and animals she produces, others may be repelled. From the moment I saw her work, some three years ago, in the stockroom of Martin Browne Contemporary in Sydney, I found the sculptures conveyed something intangible, moving, poignant — a highly unusual vision.
At the time of writing, the proofs for a monograph about Ivimey’s sculpture are in their final phase prior to printing. This book was initiated and managed by Martin Browne, published by University of Queensland Art Museum, authored by me — and feels like a significant journey. Most of all this is true for Ivimey herself. In recent years she has weathered marital breakdown, divorce and the trauma of medical treatment, yet has continued to work steadily towards a survey exhibition to open at UQ Art Museum on 3 November.
While Ivimey has a national (and growing international) profile, this exhibition is her first major introduction to Brisbane audiences. It gives me enormous pleasure to have worked as curator of If Pain Persists: Linde Ivimey Sculpture 2004–2012 and on the book titled simply Linde Ivimey*.
Ivimey’s method reveals the strength of self-portraiture within her oeuvre. The exhibition traces this interest through work produced since 2004. In the book, and laid bare in the exhibition, is the personal raison d’etre behind her intriguing sculptures and their materials. Also in November, Ivimey’s recent sculpture will be shown in her first commercial exhibition with Brisbane’s Jan Murphy Gallery. This allied exhibition includes recent work and is titled Take Two. The neatness and synergy with which these two titles intersect is symptomatic of Ivimey’s interest in words, etymology and the minutiae of meaning.
The exhibition for Jan Murphy includes drawings and sculptures focused on the Alice in Wonderland story. Scale is at the heart of this much-loved and discursive tale, with Alice alternately growing and shrinking, often awkwardly out of step with her environment. Accordingly, Ivimey has created a life-sized sculpture of Alice (as an early teenager), with the maquette-sized figures of king and queen.
Other small sculptural works will inhabit suitcases, an extension of Ivimey’s interest in dolls’ houses and the concept of child’s play. Twinning or doubles are at the heart of her practice, and the concept of Take Two is an echo after If Pain Persists, creating the commercial exhibition as an essential complement to UQ Art Museum survey. A smaller version of the survey exhibition will be seen later in 2013 at Cairns Regional Gallery.
*Linde Ivimey by Louise Martin-Chew, published by UQ Art Museum, available November 2012, http://www.martinbrownefineart.com.
Linde Ivimey is represented by Gould Galleries, Melbourne; Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney; and Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane.