Ann Maree Reaney
Ann-Maree Reaney presents her audiences with a site-specific installation made from reconstructed pre-existing materials, plucked from our everyday world. Reaney's work ‘Blind III’ explores connections and associations of form and surface. Her installation is inspired by modes of communication and takes as its starting point the phrase ‘I wish to communicate with you’ depicted on Venetian blinds.
A sculptural environment is also presented: sawn up car – an industrial material –has been recycled, compacted and turned into an elegant modernist form of a circular panel, sitting in the installation as a physical form and a light form. The surfaces here are luscious, shifting and compelling; their qualities seem to absorb light and matter. The fiery malleable soft edged orange rubber wedge that hides in the corner like a naughty school boy stands out against the subtle tones of the reconstituted metal.
The relationships between these forms are less structured than her previous installations and Reaney sites this work as being about ‘materials, surfaces and relationships’. There is playfulness and a relaxed manner of ‘assembly, light and reflection’ present yet at the same time her message is clear: she wants to relate to the viewer and she does this directly through her use of language and indirectly by subtle materials and associations. Language taken from a semaphore flag remains present but because she has lost the usual mode of this communication (the flag), the text is taken out of context and the stark authoritative language is turned into poetic, ambiguous phrasing. The original meaning is lost, changed by time and dislocation.
Casting shadows over the other objects in the space, the text perforated on the blind changes and animates the space according to the conditions outside. The blind asserts a permeable boundary between the outside world and the gallery. Reaney has internalised her relationship with us. The blind encloses the gallery space, keeping the installation secure and safe, and yet it also begins a conversation with the outside world. What’s interesting is that the blind shields the other very light reflective objects from the outside bright light and because these objects require refracted light for optimal viewing, she is therefore denying them of being seen in their true brilliance. By denying them continuous permanent light, she is creating a more precious environment for them to be seen.
Isabel Finch, 2008