Revelations: Sculpture from the RMIT Collection | RMIT University

SOUNDTRACK: Ambient noise with jazz music SIMON PERRY: Hi I’m Simon Perry I’m an artist done a number of projects in Melbourne and um, most recently I’ve completed a commission for the Emily Mcpherson building, called the Pattern Table. I’m known for a particular project called The Public Purse. FEMALE INTERVIEWEE: I think it’s um something for, um, to put your money inside It’s kind of modern art I don’t know, I’m not really sure. SIMON PERRY: I mean even with the purse, you know, people go, it’s um, a woman’s purse from the fifties You know, it’s a sign of a purse, it’s an old kind of purse. SOUNDTRACK: Ambient street noise with people talking SIMON PERRY: When I was developing the work, my mother was visiting, and I’d planned I’d made some work which were cushions out in St Kilda which were carved outside a gallery there and um, ah, I wanted something, the equivalent if you like, a soft thing, that you could sit you know that would, that would talk about um, support, or sitting. You know, something that felt like, you know, you’d have a particular tactile relationship with it and when you actually encountered it you’d realised it was it was, you know, the opposite And so she had a purse like that and ah, there was just this moment when, actually that’s probably really, I’ve always loved those purses. I’ve never actually had one myself, it’s just Simon laughs You know it’s an envy. Purse envy. SOUNDTRACK: Inaudible mumbling from SImon The cast was so beautiful um, and I do think in fact, you know having done it and thought about it, that probably, you know they do derive from maybe a shell, or shells, and that shells were used to contain things. WOMAN INTERVIEWEE: Lots of tourists sit on it and take photos and, but I know that a lot of people call it the clam shell but they don’t realise that it’s a purse, so yeah. SIMON PERRY: It had a long history, the fountain, so it was a bequest left to, left to actually commission a fountain by um, um, the estate of John Mockridge who was an architect. I think it’s about a direct relationship you have with that surface and with the water, with so many fountains, are, well there’s always, I mean, you know traditional fountains obviously are are bowls, you know, they’re sort of, they’re containers of water, I mean the effect of that water over that, that um corrugated surface is that it traps bubbles under the surface so it has this continuous sense of movement, so from a distance you sort of read it and think what is that. You know, it has, it does have this sort of magical quality of the water just shimmering and then disappearing. And the fact that you can have contact, there’s something, I think really special about that. SOUNDTRACK: Ambient noise with jazz music SIMON PERRY: As much as you can say those commissioned works were authorised you know, there’s an aspect to them, where they take on their own life, and ah, I think you know certainly in those examples, people embrace that. SOUNDTRACK: Ambient noise with jazz music

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