Past Residencies  

Bruce Slatter


(Western Australia)

Scale is of the utmost importance in a rural context, from the acreage of land, head of sheep, to points of rainfall; quantities, qualities and the measuring of such things are a constant in the expectations and potential of rural life.

Both Youth Club and Afternoon Tee are scaled down versions of structures and spaces from Kellerberrin; places of expectation and potential, rich in social meaning.

These miniature scenes operate between the notions of space and place, being both specific to Kellerberrin and also representing similar spaces elsewhere. The gazebo and golf tee are indexical and authentic. A miniature gazebo represents all gazeboes through its replication of construction. Although apparently devoid of human life these spaces contain evidence of human existence. This is evident in the paths worn into the surface and the scuffmarks reflecting use of the golf tee. The real spaces these models reference also spend much of their time without apparent human life.

The areas surrounding the objects are not exact realist reproductions of the landscapes they refer to; they instead contain hints of the texture of the place whilst suggesting the emptiness. This empty space causes a tension between the spacing and intimacy of the objects.
Miniatures attempt to heighten a fascination through a reconsideration of a normal or known object. As the scale diminishes the focus intensifies. To miniaturize an object is to distil it, seemingly finding the very essence of an object while still retaining its original form.
Miniaturising an object or scene can help enhance certain qualities of a viewing experience. You are invited to p into the small structure, yet are able to view the wf scene at once. The small scale provides an intimate experience with the space, as well as a feeling omnipresence. The scale invites a slower looking, whilst encouraging you to consider issues that surround the atypical combinations of objects and places.
Youth Club is a response to an actual place frequented youth of the town. The potential of this structure and of youth who frequent the gazebo refer to our universal ho of finding a place. The gazebo, a social structure ' probably promised much on the drawing board is ach used as a hang out by the local youth. Instead of fulfilling idealistic social design, it actually caters for disenfranchised young people within the organised club a small country town.

Afternoon Tee, a scaled down version of a golf tee storm water drain, depicts part of another version < recreational and social space. The tee, a marked area starting to play a hole of golf, is a place rich with potential and expectation. For a golfer standing on the tee anything is possible. A chance to begin again - the next swing perhaps heralding the perfect golf shot. Standing on the tee you play against yourself, the course and your playing partners. It is a hopeful and optimistic space. The storm water drain and bridge behind the tee reminds of the precarious nature of rural endeavour and the potential of factors beyond human control affecting and changing play at any time.

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