Tin Bird. Seated Lead Man and Lead man by Deb Mostert
24x48 cm oil on plywood ready to be hung.
From the Untold Stories set of works. This is the final panel available of a 12 panel series. The complete series was included in the 'Net Work' exhibition at the Ballarat Regional Art Gallery and has also had a commercial gallery showing.
SPECIAL OFFER:ART500 buyers have the opportunity to acquire this work for only $250
Untold Stories catalogue essay
The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is the very definition of a wunderkamer: a series of collections within a collection, each more specific and self contained. Deb Mostert had the rare pleasure of delving into one aspect of this treasure trove for this new body of work.
Working alongside the curator she explored their collection of vintage toys at a remove: she was not permitted to handle the objects but rather directed the willing curator wearing gloves to create the tableaux upon which she based these new paintings. It is a curious fate for these much loved and used objects that they now reside in boxes, largely unseen and most certainly never touched. Through her confidently handled paintings Mostert restores to them their original spirit of enjoyment.
Mostert’s practice involves something of an obsession in the paradox of the sacred and the banal, the grandiose and the humble. Her oil paintings on deliberately unprimed timber set up open-ended narratives between the objects themselves that are at once humorous and at times sinister, and elevate these humble toys to the status of icons almost. To a contemporary audience more accustomed to plastic these squirrels, clowns and birds appear as relics from another time evocative of a halcyon era imbued with the very essence of innocence, such is their whimsy. And yet these are not simply mawkish nostalgic paintings, although they do operate on this level as well. Rather they are cultural studies with a peculiar historical resonance and work as metaphors for the artist’s spiritual journey.
They remind us of that which has been forgotten but endures.
Alison Kubler 2010