The Samstag Alumni
The 2001 Anne & Gordon Samstag
International Visual Arts Scholarships
Using an absurdist logic that joins together things belonging to different categories, the project of Shaun Gladwell is loose canon anarchic. Historical cultural material, contemporary technologies, and the urban landscape are boiled up together in his pot. The result, in Gladwell's own words: 'John Glover would have made excellent skateboards in his spare time.'
Gladwell is interested in the creative distortions resulting from the transmission of images and ideas between different cultural zones and historical periods. In Warped Wood, he juxtaposes a Glover painting (an image that has been digitally copied and compressed along the horizontal axis and then repainted) with two custom-made skateboards. Building on the superficial connection between the curved lines of a typical Glover tree, and a skateboard's bent plywood deck, Gladwell sees a parallel between the two cultural activities. The distortion of natural form in Glover's paintings is mirrored in the way in which the skateboarder recodes the urban landscape, reassigning or distorting the use-value of urban architecture: 'the hand-rail becomes a slippery dip.'
A champion 'freestyle' skateboarder, in the video Kickflipping Flâneur, Gladwell draws a connection between the activity of the skateboarder in the contemporary urban city and the Modernist hero of the nineteenth century city, Baudelaire's flâneur, 'strolling/rolling incognito through the city'. The compelling, yet curious, works resulting from these wide-ball associations make a convincing argument for the 'wrong science' school of art.
From her Samstag catalogue essay
Art and Research
Born 1972, Auburn, New South Wales
|2001||Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
Associate Research Student, Goldsmiths College, London, UK
|1998||Candidate for Master of Fine Art, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney|
|1996||Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours), Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney|
Warped Wood 2000
oil on canvas, plywood decks, steel brackets
80 x 240 cm, decks 62 x 28 cm each
(produced with the financial support of Peter Fay)
© the artist