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Louise Paramor, Show Court 3 Louise Paramor, Show Court 3
photo John Brash
WHEN REORGANISING A GARDEN SHED FILLED TO THE BRIM, YOU OFTEN START WITH THE ‘WHAT FITS INSIDE SOMETHING ELSE’ SYSTEM: YOU JAM THINGS IN THINGS. OBJECTS SQUIRM UNCOMFORTABLY AGAINST ONE ANOTHER, COMPACTED TO DENSE MATTER UNDER THE COLLECTIVE WEIGHT OF FORCED COHABITATION.

Louise Paramor’s plastic, lolly-coloured sculptural combines often do slip seamlessly inside or against one another, as though an obscure yet universal customisation of random plastic objects has been going on behind our backs.

Paramor’s sculptures obtain strong spatial presence, whilst avoiding forced density, due to her inversion of any pragmatic stacking process. The air around and through these works, the gaps under and in between, never appear as incidental results of an incomplete jam. Instead these objects collude with space, nudging it and toying with it, enabling it to support the work, with negative space acting as a vital formal and psychological component.

The combinations of found plastic forms never appear particularly tenuous or topsy-turvy despite their light-weight materiality and the chunky globs from her hot glue-gun that stick some of the bits together. There should be the logical possibility of disastrous moments, such as the pink plastic chair wedged into the distorted plastic bin suddenly shooting up into the air. But these works maintain such visual stability that they instead achieve monumentality. The equality of positive and negative space creates a fixed presence and command of space that plays beautifully with the carnival quality of Paramor’s lurid hues and playful oddness.

The formal precision of space within the works, seen in highly considered compositions that retain visual balance from all perspectives, was mirrored in their placement in this case across a tennis court. Curator Jane O’Neill’s sophisticated visual flows open up various navigational pathways. The setting is an apt one: like the sculptures, tennis is a game. Both are reliant on precision and a response to the air—the atmosphere—that the ball or the viewer navigates.

The court environment echoed the synthetic nature of the sculptures and the uniform greenness and white lines visually activated the negative spaces of the works. The installation in turn partially transformed the tennis court into an abstracted, formalised space. Similarly, Paramor converted plastic chairs, baby’s bathtubs and balls into shapes and blocks of colour, without disguising their initial functional purpose.

The first view of the sculptural installation was from above, looking down on the expanse of works. The overwhelming richness of visual information from this vantage point was transfixing. Stand and look, circling the court from the first row walkway, or quickly circle to the staircase down on to the court? People drifted from one work to another, circling back for another look, their movements zigzagging and bouncing around. Paramor and O’Neill had concocted a situation which seduced the viewer into enjoying both the panorama and the specifics of each sculpture. Having navigated this oddly elegant display of garden shed debris, I found it best to retire to the bleachers to enjoy watching others do the same.


Louise Paramor, Show Court 3, curator Jane O’Neill, Rod Laver Show Court 3, Melbourne, April 20

RealTime issue #79 June-July 2007 pg. 44

© ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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