All Black

2008

mixed media on ply, frame
1360mmH x 1360mmW x 31mmD

Series: Concrete Art

Inside a pitted, black, post-colonial frame, an allegory of sport, psychology and culture plays out on the square ground of a carved block wall. Like a rugby team, fifteen full blocks command the field, with half blocks as benched reserves. Each block has a defined position yet carries the same weight. Collectively impenetrable, the wall interacts with the environment, like concrete – absorbing warmth during the day and emitting heat at night. Positioned by its title in identity and race politics, All Black draws attention to the structural frameworks of a black carving isolated from its foundations and located on a white wall.

A 'first fifteen' also dominates the field of black painting, an art form seeking to promote collective ideals – from Malevich, Rauschenberg, Stella and Reinhardt in USA and Europe, to Mrkusich and Hotere closer to home. The geometric grid in All Black sets the groundwork for replication while its heat transfer properties brings warmth to abstraction and emulate bodily functions like a post-performance sweat.