Rose Nolan
Par­lour Games

30th October – 18th December 2021
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor ver­sion) (2021) is the lat­est in Rose Nolan’s ongo­ing Big Words’ series, which seeks to extend the con­fines of tra­di­tion­al art mak­ing to forge new pos­si­bil­i­ties in cre­ation and engage­ment. Nolan has a high­ly ver­sa­tile approach to media, hav­ing made works from card­board, Hes­s­ian, Per­spex, and wood. The com­mon prop­er­ty of these diverse mate­ri­als is the every­day nature, reflect­ing Nolan’s regard for util­i­tar­i­an prin­ci­ples and an astute under­stand­ing of aes­thet­ic poten­tial. Big Words (Not Mine)… is a semi­cir­cu­lar car­pet that appears cir­cu­lar, being abutted against a mir­rored wall.

Bold in scale and by virtue of the artist’s sig­na­ture colour palette of red and white, the work engages the sur­round­ing archi­tec­ture in a com­mand­ing occu­pa­tion of space. Under­ly­ing its mon­u­men­tal qual­i­ties is a deft­ly achieved econ­o­my of mate­ri­als and spa­tial effi­cien­cy. View­ers are invit­ed to lie, sit or walk on the rug, encour­ag­ing a bod­i­ly involve­ment that is enhanced by the posi­tion­ing of the mir­ror: to com­plete’ the art­work (inevitably also includ­ing the spec­ta­tor, albeit in part). Sev­er­al wood­en stools are placed around the cen­tral work, func­tion­ing as seats for view­ers or as stand-ins for spec­ta­tors. The con­fig­u­ra­tion tran­scends the typ­i­cal front-fac­ing posi­tion con­ven­tion­al­ly adopt­ed when pre­sent­ing art­works, cre­at­ing a nov­el oppor­tu­ni­ty for immer­sion and interpretation.

The words woven into the wool are reversed and leg­i­ble only when seen in the mir­ror. Reflect­ing the title of the work, the text seems to have a uni­ver­sal mean­ing as well as being spe­cif­ic to its own lit­er­al con­text. While the words are indeed big’, they do not impose them­selves onto their audi­ence but rather invite view­ers to seek, decode and run’ their minds over and around them. In the tra­di­tion of the ready­made, Nolan reg­u­lar­ly col­lects phras­es, read or over­heard, which she then re-con­tex­tu­alis­es and mate­ri­al­ly trans­forms to be re-inter­pret­ed in their new con­text. The exhi­bi­tion title Par­lour Games’ alludes to the pop­u­lar indoor pas­time based on cre­ative word­play, which Nolan has inven­tive­ly reimag­ined in phys­i­cal form.

Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision” is an extract­ed phrase from Ros­alind Krauss’ 1977 book Pas­sages in Mod­ern Sculp­ture, that exam­ines the con­cep­tu­al space occu­pied by three-dimen­sion­al art­works. The illu­sion­is­tic ele­ment enact­ed by the mir­ror in this work plays with the viewer’s com­pre­hen­sion, cre­at­ing a slip­page between phys­i­cal and visu­al real­i­ty. In this sense, space itself is an active ingre­di­ent in Nolan’s work, which the view­er is required to nav­i­gate in what becomes a per­for­ma­tive process.

Incor­po­rat­ing repet­i­tive geom­e­try and graph­ic let­ter­ing rem­i­nis­cent of an ath­let­ics track, the space is imbued with the sense that it could be a stage or poten­tial site for action. The par­al­lel lines guide view­ing, as they might move­ment, to engage view­ers to enact men­tal’ as opposed to phys­i­cal exer­cise. In this way, Big Words (Not Mine)… con­structs an are­na that both invites and chal­lenges through an inno­v­a­tive union of form and concept. 

Images

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
(detail) 100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
(detail) 100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
(detail) 100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
(detail) 100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
(detail) 100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro

Rose Nolan

Big Words (Not Mine) – Tran­scend the pover­ty of par­tial vision (floor version), 2021
100% New Zealand wool rug, alu­mini­um com­pos­ite mir­rored pan­els, wood­en stools
car­pet 5001000 cm; mir­rored pan­els 1220 cm x 124 cm
Instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery
Pho­to: Chris­t­ian Capurro