Signs of life

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
Accession Number ART92081
Collection type Art
Measurement overall: 65 x 118 x 18 cm
Object type Sculpture
Physical description bituminous plastic, silver
Maker Howard, Ian
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1990
Conflict Period 1990-1999

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


'Signs of Life' could be described as a 'generic' monument in the sense that it can refer to any momentous event, that having occurred, is now being considered as a fact/fiction within the present. Scale is important here because for example, loss and gain in a military campaign represents both quantifiable (the number of casualties) and unquantifiable (the personal hurt to families, the political advantage to the winning side etc) degrees of gain and loss. Also each person that experiences the monument brings their own histories and experiences to bare and the work itself should be able to draw out and support each of these sometimes competing and conflicting feelings. Hence, in 'Signs of Life' there is a deliberately mysterious scale relationship between the viewers (the silver figures) and the monument. As well, the framed subject of the monument, the running person, is both clear and unclear, depending on angle of view and light etc. Even those viewing are divided and are not forming a consensus, but somehow still comfortable anyway with their relationship to the past.

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