We’re thrilled to see that Paul Sloan’s majestic, mirrored pigeon has become an overnight icon for South Australia! The 2.3 m tall sculpture, which was unveiled on 6 November, has been drawing record crowds to Adelaide’s Rundle Mall.
Simply titled ‘Pigeon’, the striking work sits in good company close to Bert Flugelman’s ‘Spheres’ and Lyndon Dadswell’s ‘Progress.’
‘Pigeon’ is the world’s first large-scale, permanent public artwork of the internationally omnipresent bird. It is also Paul’s first major public art work.
Commissioned in 2019 as part of the City of Adelaide’s Gawler Place Upgrade, it is one of the city’s most significant commissions in recent times.
Paul is interested in examining that which often escapes our attention. Ubiquitous, yet often overlooked the sculpture elevates the humble pigeon to the realm of awe and wonder.
For many years, Paul has studied the form and symbolism of this common bird. For him, the pigeon speaks of migration and immigration, it connects the urban realm to the natural world, suggests navigation and homing instincts, reminds us of the messages and news we bring each other, and is a unifying feature of cities across the globe.
Birds, navigation, history and the natural world are all enduring themes of exploration in Paul’s work, as are geometric abstraction and mirrored surfaces.
Through the poetry of geometry and the escapism of the spectacle, this sculpture playfully disrupts the everyday. Through its mirrored surfaces, it reflects its viewer, environment and surrounding architecture while inviting closer inspection.
The work speaks of the built world (materials, structures and sculptures), of the natural world (birds and abstracted natural, geological forms), of direction, movement and mapping. It generates intrigue, makes passers-by stop, investigate, circumnavigate and explore the artwork.
Recognised as a homing pigeon from the band on its leg, the bird’s place of residence is recorded in GPS coordinates – cementing a sense of place and patriality for everything this resilient, remarkable bird symbolises.
Despite its fledgling status, for many the sensitively considered sculpture seems like it has always been in the public realm – a masterful achievement for this artist’s first major public art commission.
Congratulations to Paul!
Pictured: Paul Sloan, Pigeon, Adelaide, Australia, 2020. Sam Roberts Photography
Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of Paul Sloan’s If it keeps on raining the levee’s gonna break and Pepai Jangala Carroll’s Ngayulu anu ngayuku mamaku ngurakutu, on Thursday, September 14 from 6pm.
In If it keeps on raining, the levee’s gonna break, Paul Sloan shatters the prison cells of space and time, creating new possibilities, surreal juxtapositions, and dissident commentaries. Sloan’s latest body of work exploits the inherently disruptive and non-linear potentials of collage, while cleverly traversing the realms of drawing and printmaking.
Representing more than 3 years of extended exploration, these works play into a rich field of practice that was established in the twentieth century by heavy-hitting luminaries such as Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Hannah Hoch, and Richard Hamilton. In these large-scale works, Sloan creates new spaces for contemplation. He invites unexpected things, people, and events to coalesce, allowing juxtapositions and commentaries to arise that are sometimes serious, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, yet always profoundly subversive and aesthetically powerful.
In Pepai Jangala Carroll’s new body of work, Ngayulu anu ngayuku mamaku ngurakutu, the artist has retraced his father’s story, reconnecting with his homeland. Translating as ‘I went home to my father’s country’, the exhibition summons notions of personal heritage and belonging. Carroll travelled back to his custodial country in April 2017, having left this region as a 19-year-old after his parents passed away. Pepai has spent the last 40 years living and working in Ernabella. On this recent trip he travelled with fellow Ernabella artist Derek Jungarrayi Thompson to visit sites between Kintore, Kiwirrkura, and Lake Mackay (Wilkinkarra). Concerned with passing on this new knowledge and experience, the results are profound and sensitive.
“I’ve gone home! I’ve followed my father’s footsteps back to his country to Ilpili, Walungurru, Ininti, Kiwirrkura, Wilkinkarra and Yumari. Now I’m going to tell that tjukurpa. It’s a big one!”
TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
Please join us in celebrating these two brilliant exhibitions on September 14!
Congratulations to James Dodd, Paul Sloan and Amy Joy Watson – all South Australian artists shortlisted for the Gold Coast Art Prize!
Now in its 47th year and hosted by the Gold Coast City Gallery, the Prize includes a total of $30,000 for acquisitions.
The third instalment in a series of survey exhibitions presented by the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, CACSA Contemporary 2015 features work by represented artists Paul Sloan and James Dodd, whose Pigment High is open at Hugo Michell Gallery until 22 August 2015.
You can see Dodd’s Painting Machine in operation at Light Square Gallery alongside the work of Zoe Kirkwood, who exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery in 2014, and who will be part of our 2016 exhibition program. Sloan’s paintings are exhibiting at Light Square Gallery at 172 Morphett Street, alongside artist Ray Harris, whose work exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery most recently in the 2015 Young Collectors exhibition.
We’d like to congratulate all the artists on the high calibre of work. CACSA Contemporary 2015 is across multiple venues in and around the Adelaide CBD. Visit the website for more details www.casca.org.
Image: Courtesy James Dodd