Sunday, 18 March 2018

Adam Laerkesen

link to artist's website

11 March - 7 April       My Song is not Your Song


Adam Laerkesen. My Song is not Your Song. 2017. Wood bull head, anchor rope, painting on wood.

Adam is a northern European, born in New Zealand who arrived in Sydney, as a 15 year old via the Gold Coast, but that probably isn’t why his song is not your song.

Drawing, 9 hours a week of it was the basic training he received while studying sculpture at the National Art School. According to Adam it’s “a method of honing the eye”.  After a stint at the Sydney College of Art it was still there when his education gave way to the need for making. And it’s here. This is a drawing.

Adam Laerkesen. My Song is not Your Song. 2017.
Hearing Adam talk about his work is like listening to a detailed discussion about the function of drawing: “always about taking inanimate forms and animating them”; “try not to make it about the self, to make it about the other”; “keep it open ended”; “suspend logic as a way of holding the viewer to the work”.

We must look and look again at this precariously attractive image that is drawn from intuition.  There is no plan here. History is little more than a license to practice assemblage. Intuition for Adam is filtered through daydreams. He describes states of mind at the edge of sleep, when in tiredness dreams flash across our eyes and the space between waking and the assertion of consciousness. “It mirrors the narrative of found objects, which have lost their function and are in the process of finding a new one.”

A key to the work is the yellow painting in the top left had corner.  Visually it’s a crucial element that Adam says was painted by his son, playfully in his studio somewhere in the past. For Adam, it offers fatherhood as a premise for the work, “the camel trying to pass through the needle's eye” as Adam comments in a fractured metaphor that draws the melancholy on a quest for innocence.

Tony Twigg