Tara Murphy

Main Gallery, October 24th - November 19th

Touch Wood
This body of work utilizes found ‘natural’ wood and processed wood off-cuts. The main objective has been to explore the textural qualities that can be achieved through the surface manipulation of this timber.
Both native and introduced varieties of timber have been used and are appreciated with equal value for their individual qualities.
Transforming what is essentially ‘firewood’ in to sculpture holds significance in the overall theme of the exhibition
Maori pou whenua (carved wooden posts), Aboriginal talking sticks (an instrument of democracy) and totem poles (monumental sculptures carved from large trees) made by cultures of the indigenous people of North America have all been influential in the installation ‘Softly they speak (Talking sticks)’. These logs are highly decorative and emphasis flickers between their sheer solidity and the fragility of the embellishments.
‘Falling Ladder’ is an expression of will – a kind of attempt at reverting processed wood back in to its original state. Of course this can’t be achieved. The surface staining alludes to the natural occurrence of bark staining the woods innermost surface directly underneath.
‘Hollow’ is the result of scooping out the insides of a section of Totara. Totara is a beautiful wood to work with and renowned for its prize place in the carving world. ‘Hollow’ is an attempt at showcasing the beauty of this native wood. ‘Hollow’ presents itself as both an abstract form and a ‘vessel’ shaped object; as with most vessel shapes, focus shifts and the object begins to take on a functional role as opposed to something more autonomous.