Work I submitted for the 8×8 exhibition at Cobargo Creators Art Gallery 17th August – 1st September 2019. Each piece is made 100% out of repurposed, pre existing materials
The following art works are part of a series of work called Lessons In Botany and have been created using images from old Botany books that would have ended up in a dusty old box or in a rubbish heap. Old out dated Science books have now become obsolete in our modern age, especially when we rarely need to use reference books these days. I wanted to transform these old unwanted books into something as beautiful as the Plant Kingdom they represent. The lessons in botany that I would have preferred, making kingdoms and fantasy worlds out of cells and cross sections. Each artwork is definitely unique and if you stare long enough…you may just go on a journey into Kingdom Plantae.
‘All Genous’ is a magical and whimsical journey into the mysterious world of Botany, a visual exploration of our connectivity to the planet and all things. This artwork is made from the illustrations in old Botany books, books that are now rendered obsolete because the content and perhaps format are no longer viable, books that were once trees; that have passed through the hands of an eager student, collected dust on a bookshelf, then ended its life as landfill…or not, in my case. As I was producing this artwork the words “all” and “genous” stood out to me as I found it quite significant to the work the work I am producing, the images of how plants function and reproduce and the ultimate production of another reality that the mind can produce. Our brain is wired to make sense of what we see and it will begin to take short cuts when it sees a pattern. Are there two baboons driving a car in the image? Or is that plant reproduction? All I know is that these are the Botany lessons I should have taken.
Closed or Open?
Keys have come to signify more than just their function as an object that locks and unlocks. Through representation and association we have constructed metaphors around keys. In superstition they can be the both the bearers of good luck and bad luck; keys have come to represent knowledge, mystery, initiation, curiosity, power, status, ownership and authority. However, the illusion of metaphor does not bring a semblance of truth to the object, we ignore the objects basic function as a key and come to view it on a metaphysical level.
We perceive phenomena differently on the left and right side of the brain. The left being analytical, logical and objective, in contrast to the right; thoughtful, intuitive and subjective. In this installation the left speaker plays sounds of locks being closed, while the right speaker plays sounds of locks being opened, which symbolises the left and right side of the brain respectively.
Carolyn is delighted to return to the Victorian goldfields to be a part of the Castlemaine Fringe Festival in 2013.
Carolyn is a Sydney based artist who works across media in photography, video, painting, textiles, installation, and experimental sound. Carolyn’s work is reflective of the human condition, peoples stories and experiences, consequently this has developed an interest in regional Australia, particularly in areas that have a rich historical background. In 2011 Carolyn undertook a two week residency in Bendigo as part of Punctum’s ‘Seedpod’ grant. During her stay Carolyn worked closely with the community, interviewing Chinese elder’s Russell Jack and Dennis O’Hoy for insight into the local Chinese history. Sounds were collected from several significant sites, one being PepperGreen Farm, which was originally a Chinese market garden. This research developed into a sound performance and installation of a pop up market garden that was planted by the audience. Since her residency, Carolyn has returned to the region on a number of occasions, most recently for a performance as Wun Thong at Undue Noise ‘Sonic Decadence’ in 2012.
Carolyn graduated from Sydney College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Media Arts), after having done a stint in Canada as an exchange student at the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. It was here that she discovered her love for electroacoustic sound, which further developed her character Wun Thong. Carolyn has since been working as an independent artist and arts practitioner, running workshops and working with artists with a disability; she has also been a volunteer on the curatorial committee for Aart Boxx, a national exhibition of contemporary art from Australian artists with a disability.
WARNING: This week’s Something Else show with Carolyn Teo aka Wun Thong contains hypnotizing Magic Balls and Bird Calls. These sweet atmospheric reverberations should not be listened to while operating heavy machinery. Please listen to this Something Else podcast responsibly.
“He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” (Chinese Proverb)
iteration of the Bendigo project…
This project started in Bendigo as part of the ‘Seedpod’ residency hosted by Punctum, a live arts organisation based in Castlemaine. During my time in Bendigo I researched and developed the project with the outcome of an art installation and public performance at the Old Fire Station in Bendigo. I found my time in Bendigo invaluable, as I was able to make connections within the community and learn much of the local history. I wanted to share these histories with people in Sydney, as a lot of Australians, myself included, are unaware of some of the Chinese histories in Australia.
Firstly I would like to thank Terry for allowing me to exhibit this project at Addison Road Gallery in Sydney. I would also like to thank the Chinese elders Dennis O’Hoy and Russell Jack who have given me invaluable information in regards to the Chinese history and insight into their own family histories in Bendigo. The Golden Dragon Museum and Bendigo Joss House for historical research. David Bannear who was kind enough to take the time to show me some of the old digging sites and cemeteries in the area. Punctum management, staff and technicians who have been extremely professional and supportive, whom without them I would not have been able to realise this project. Many many thanks to Pepper Green Farm who let me record and film on sight. Helen Kelly who has given me a place to stay and a warm welcome into the community of Castlemaine and ofcourse a big thanks to the broader community of Bendigo and Castlemaine, who made the journey a memorable and enjoyable one.