Date published: 1/07/2015
Multi-media artist Tania Spencer often works with recycled and found materials to create discreet objects that challenge pre-existing notions of society and the environment. Hand knitted from steel wire, her recent work, Sail-Sale explores the visual complexities that emerge from within her sculptural forms whilst prompting discussion around the delineation of art/craft and gender.
Commissioned by Coles Group Property Developments for their new centre in Orana, Sail-Sale comprises three triangular ‘sail-like’ forms that reference both the historical significance of Albany as the first port in Western Australia and its ongoing importance as a hub for industry and tourism. The ‘hand-knitted’ construction of the work combines the strength of stainless steel with the transparency of the woven form to create a delicate yet vibrant series of sails drifting in the breeze. In order to overcome the difficulties involved in illuminating a mostly transparent work, Tania worked with specialist lighting consultants, Light Application to create a dynamic lighting display that highlights the visual complexity of the woven forms and contributes to an overall sense of movement.
Coles Group’s Development Manager Chris Harman was closely involved in the centre’s development:
We wanted a piece of art that was attractive and interactive, whilst being low maintenance and did not detract from the centre itself. Tania's proposal met those requirements perfectly and was something that could easily be recognised as relating back to Albany's port history. Since installation the artwork has been extremely well received by the community with many people simply standing there watching it change colour in the evening when it is illuminated. The artwork is a fantastic addition to the centre.
Tania lives and works rurally from Lake Grace, Western Australia. She currently creates large scale knitted installations constructed with fencing wire and wire embroideries that are couched onto metal supports. Since 2000, she has held three solo exhibitions in Western Australia and has exhibited in numerous group shows regionally as well as Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Japan. Her work is represented in the Tamworth Regional Council Textile Collection, City of Melville and City of Bunbury Art Collections, Understory-Northcliffe Sculpture Walk, Gomboc Gallery and Sculpture Park and various private collections.
Artist: Tania Spencer
Client: Coles Property Group
Project Location: Albany, WA
Timeframe: 8 months
Year completed: 2015