Mikala Dwyer

Mikala Dwyer


10 September–12 October 200810 Sep–12 Oct 2008

Sydney sculptor Mikala Dwyer provocatively conflates the look of pedigreed modern art (particularly geometric abstraction and minimalism) with the amateur, infantile, and playful, conflating gallery with kindergarten. Eleven rustic garments, made in fantasy ‘dress up’ fabrics like organza, hung on the wall, accompanied by eleven paper-mache geometic forms. Some hang above the costumes, suggesting caricature heads, recalling witches’s hats, and crows’s and aliens’s heads; others rest on the floor, suggesting modern sculptures, a look belied by their low production values. On the one hand, the work has scary associations, suggesting a committee of judges or inquisitors (especially one costume with an ‘eyeball’ head). On the other, one feels an irresistible desire to pull them off their hooks, to climb into them, to inhabit them, and play out the roles they suggest. This work, Costumes, is accompanied by two Empty Sculptures which Dwyer created by folding and fusing sheet plastic into monocoque structures. From some angles the Empty Sculptures seem crudely manufactured, from others high tech. They have the form of boulders, but are the opposite, being lightweight, transparent, hollow, all skin. They are like ghost boulders. 

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.