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Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney
Tue 2 to Sat 20 October 2012

Di Holdsworth’s new assemblages explore themes of the circus. With music-boxes and hand-made mechanisms she has automated vintage toys and marionettes. The works are constructed in old boxes and tins and are reminiscent of carnival automata and arcade games from the past.

Combining circus characters with those from myths, fairytales and popular culture, the cast in Holdsworth’s assemblages includes clowns, aerialists, circus animals, mermaids, Icarus, Little Red Riding Hood, a princess, Superman and the Devil.

Holdsworth juxtaposes notions of fear, danger, desire and sexuality, against innocence, whimsy and wonder. Wind up one of her works and a clown might embrace Little Red Riding Hood or a trapeze artist might spin, dangling by one leg, from a rope above the body of Superman.

 

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Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney
8-25 October 2008

I have vivid memories of long hot summer days when I ran wild with my brother shooting at him with a shiny silver gun that I could pull deftly from my cowgirl holster. Together he and I invented the rules of murder and death. We also spent hours under the dining table where a menagerie of plastic animals roamed and a locomotive raced murderously around its track causing certain death to any hapless animal that wondered into its path.

In this series of assemblages I have tried to evoke that time in childhood when one is able to fuse the edges of reality and play: to draw from a time when everything is possible and the discoveries of fear and death are tempered by joy and innocence. This series was created with affection and irony, often having a slightly malevolent edge. The works are constructed from vintage boxes, tins, toys, bric-a-brac, and collage. Concealed inside are music boxes and mechanical movements. Wind one of the works and listen to the music resonate as an emu dances or a ship rides a wave.