Dominic Kavanagh

Winner 2004

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Artist Statement

Dominic Kavanagh’s recent work has been informed by the phenomenon of contemporary ruins of the constructed landscape. He explores this topic through disciplines of sculpture and assemblage, sound and installation. Ruins in their many manifestations provide his practice not only with materials but a wealth of conceptual and imaginative ideas. Dominic is particularly interested in the aesthetics associated with ruin and how they can be appropriated, renegotiated and transcended in art.

Recent Work

Requiem For Urban Ruins (2013)

Perkins Leg (2008)

Other Assemblages

Art Career Beginnings

I started studying art because, quite simply, I wanted to become an artist and was motivated to develop my own artistic voice or style.

During these seminal years of study at Newcastle's Hunter Street Tafe and Newcastle University, I became preoccupied with the art of assemblage sculpture. Working with the ruinous innuendo and quality of decay in found or discarded objects motivated me to work within this discipline. This preoccupation and dedication consequently empowered and defined my artistic voice.

My Jennie Thomas Travelling Scholarship Experience

Being awarded the JT Travelling Art Scholarship filled me with a sense of validation and conviction for the work I had done thus far in my studies. In retrospect this event defined a point where I began to look at my prospective future as an artist with more optimism and confidence. It remains the most exciting moment of my student life in Newcastle.

The scholarship brought recognition and elevated to some degree my status within the immediate Newcastle Art community. It brought more opportunities to exhibit and, most importantly, gave me the opportunity to travel overseas after completing my degree. I can't stress enough how beneficial travel is for an art student who has just come out of four years of study. Travel exposed me to new and challenging art, and introduced me to international art communities. This opportunity brought context, inspiration and maturity to my practice while affirming my career choice.

Beyond The Scholarship

The lush country environment of my childhood has emerged a prominent influence over recent years. This has led me to question my relationship and awareness with current surroundings.

I am currently practicing my art in Melbourne with the endeavour to evolve and expand my art practice. My first Melbourne solo show, 'The Rebellious Garden Shed', using my trade mark recycled and found pieces, was held at Seventh Gallery, Fitzroy in 2008. Having completed my Masters in Fine Art, I am aspiring to lecture in a tertiary institution.

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Requiem For Urban Ruins

Preformance Video

The Lock-Up is an installation of sculpture, performance and sound set in The Yard at The Lock-Up.

On the 15th March 2013 Dominic Kavanagh created an improvised soundscape to embellish the dark and ominous character of The Yard at The Lock-Up. With a chaotic backdrop of rusting metal objects Kavanagh performed on an appropriated collection of metal detritus, handmade instruments and electronic effects pedals.

The installation was on view over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of March 2013.

Filmed by Gionni Di Gravio.

Still Photographs

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Perkin's Leg (2008)

The Myth - My Inspiration

A preserved, three and a half metre wooden leg was recently found half buried in desert sands just south of the Moroccan city, Tangier. Due to a series of severe desert storms, much of the covering sand had been removed, exposing the leg for the first time in what is believed to be about 1650 years. There has been much controversy over the leg’s origin. Mobile in design and consisting of several carved, interlocking pieces, many baffled archaeologists have suggested the leg functioned as a component to a large, primitive, mechanical farming device. Professor Perkins, who discovered the leg, believes its origin to be far more significant. Perkins speculates that the remnants belonged to an apparent creature of mythical renown: Nemorosus Aroxus (Wooden Horror).

The Sculpture - My Response

My sculpture 'Perkins’ Leg' is constructed almost entirely from wood The artefact is half buried in sand in order to portray the desert scene of its apparent discovery. Its display is designed to provoke curiosity about its origin. This kind of installation is reminiscent of ‘nature’ displays in museums and theme parks. Fake environments like these are created in a variety of ways to depict and inspire speculation about the life of the subjects placed within them. I wanted to create my own myth surrounding the existence of a supposed artefact or relic. In this case, everything has been fabricated, from the relic itself, to the brief publication of its history that accompanies it.

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Other Assemblages

Home    ~     Fine Art    ~     Music-Keyboard    ~     Medical Research    ~     Environmental    ~     Enabling

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