At the Above is excited to announce FOR WANT OF A NAIL, a multi medium exhibition by Australian artist Luke Chiswell. In his first solo exhibition with the gallery, Chiswell investigates moments of process and value.
"For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the battle was lost."
Is a proverb, having numerous variations over several centuries, reminding that seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences. However, amidst this belief, Chiswell also holds the conviction that anything that descends can also ascend. He applies this philosophy to his artistic practice, recognising that even the smallest acts can serve as the catalyst for something significant.
Expanding upon the concept of “working titles,” Chiswell extends this notion of capturing the creative process into the realm of sculpture. Through the creation of what he refers to as “Shadow objects,” he casts and reproduces objects, infusing them with new meaning.
Upon close examination, Chiswell’s replicas reveal an exceptional level of craftsmanship, intended to showcase the inherent value of the objects. The artist painstakingly molds the wax material to mimic the texture and appearance of leather, canvas or rubber to such a degree that it almost misrepresents its true nature.
Through this intentional establishment of value, Chiswell explores the act of breaking and remaking, a deliberate “ruining” that challenges the conventional notions of worth. His disregard for the preservation
of his replicas, coupled with their diminishing value through reproduction, prompts a commentary on the societal perception of value. Chiswell’s artistic practice heavily emphasizes the process and journey of creation. He maintains a keen
awareness, capturing fleeting moments along the way, acknowledging that the intention behind a work can often be more intriguing than its final destination.
His recent solo exhibitions include Jerico, Sydney Australia, Tappan Los Angeles USA, Residency’s The Line Los Angeles USA, Unit 1 gallery London UK, Redgate Gallery Beijing China, Maderas Village Nicaragua Central America, Glass works Canberra Australia.