If you are going to be in Melbourne from 14 April to 27 April then it’s compulsory that you visit artist Paul Yore in the Atrium at Federation Square. As part of WeAustralians.org‘s debut exhibition, Manifestations of Now (MoNow), Yore will be living in a geodesic cave ‘Playdough’s Cave’ for the duration of the festival.
Currently an artist in residence at Gertrude Contemporary, Yore is known for his bold use of colour and skill at repurposing throwaway items, resulting in playful, imaginative and fantastical installations. We spoke to him about what he’ll be doing for fourteen days in the cave, what the rest of the exhibition entails and whether his studio is as colourful as his artworks (his answer is interesting).
We’ve been told that you’ll be living in a geodesic dome for the duration of the Manifestations of Now exhibition (that’s fourteen days!). Please tell us more.
The geodesic dome carries various socio-historical associations, as stable or utopian. I want to activate the work as a habitat of sorts. Occupying space in this way engages directly with the conceptual underpinning of the work, to see it as ongoing and durational, rather than fixed and ‘finished’ at any given point.
The most interesting aspect over the duration of the show will be whether people interact and respond directly to the work by contributing to it in some way.
How did you get involved in Manifestations of Now and how does your project fit into the exhibition as a whole?
My involvement in the exhibition was a suggestion by fellow Manifestations of Now artist Roberta Rich. I see a relationship in our works, which deal in different ways with the tenuous construction of identity within Australian society. So the commencement of my project occurred through the desire to create something that could be solid and fluid, changeable and somewhat unpredictable to reflect these concerns.
Please tell us about your background – how did you get to where you are now?
I have been making things since my childhood, so art making is a natural activity for me to partake in. I painted in secondary school and then studied painting, as well as archaeology, anthropology and history at a tertiary level. I have exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions at various ARI’s and public spaces following my tertiary studies and am now currently working full-time as a studio artist on a residency at Gertrude Contemporary Artspaces.
You work across a range of different mediums – installations, painting, sculpture, sound, drawing and tapestry. How do you choose which medium to work in for each project? And do you have a preferred medium?
I don’t believe in limiting oneself. Being multi-disciplinary is a way to incorporate various disparate materials and methodologies into a single body of work. Tapestry-making currently is a process I am most engaged with. There’s a quite therapy about the process I find necessary.
After seeing the vivid ‘The Big Rainbow Funhouse of Cosmic Brutality’ at Heide a couple of years ago, we’re imaging that your studio space is fluorescent and filled with glitter. Is it?
Well, I like to keep things pretty colourful – I have a lot of disco-lights and plastic flowers and Justin Bieber posters. Glitter is also very important; my life doesn’t feel real without it.
What are you looking at working on next?
I am working towards some other shows for the rest of the year, and always experimenting.
Manifestations of Now will be taking place from 11 April – 27 April at Federation Square in Melbourne. Paul Yore will be one of 18 contemporary Australian artists showcasing work which will inspire new ways of seeing contemporary Australia.