Fiona Hall

The Artwork of Fiona Hall

Born in Oatley, New South Wales in November of 1953, Fiona Margaret Hall is an Australian sculptor and photographer. Born to radio-physicist and astronomer Ruby Payne-Scott and telephone technician William Hall, she developed an early appreciation of nature during weekend walks in the Royal National Park. During her primary school years, Hall’s mother took her to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see the 1967 exhibition “Two Decades of American Painting” which heightened her exposure to the world of art. 

Fiona Hall made the decision to pursue an art career and majored in painting at the East Sydney Technical School, now the National Art School, under John Firth-Smith, a Sydney abstract painter highly regarded for his Sydney Harbor scenes. Through her participation in Sydney’s early 1970s experimental art scene, Hall became interested in photography. As the college did not offer a major in photography, Firth-Smith initially mentored her in the subject. Hall later studied photography as a minor for her degree under printmaker and photographer George Schwarz; it was Schwarz who wrote and taught the first photography course at the National Art School. 

In 1974 while still a student, Hall exhibited her photographic work as part of the “Thoughts and Images” group exhibition at the Ewing and George Paton Galleries, a central hub for experimental art in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s. Hall graduated in 1975 with her graduate exhibition solely based in photography. She relocated to London in January of 1976 and spent three months of that year visiting numerous art institutions in Europe. Upon her return to London, Fiona Hall began working with Peter Turner, the editor of the photography magazine “Creative Camera”. 

While in London in 1977, Fiona Hall became an assistant to black and white landscape photographer Fay Goodwin and held her first solo photographic exhibition at the Creative Camera Gallery in London. Returning to Australia in 1978, she had her first Australian solo exhibition at the Church Street Photography Center in Melbourne. Hall relocated to the United States to study at New York’s Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester where she earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Photography in 1982. 

Throughout the 1980s, Hall established a significant profile in the art world through her involvement in solo and group shows in Australia. In 1981 in Australia, she created “The Antipodean Suite”, a series of photographs of objects such as power cords and bananas. In the same year, five of her photographs were acquired for the public collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Beginning in 1983, Hall lectured in photography at Adelaide’s South Australian School of Art until her formal resignation in 2002. She received a commission in 1984 to document the new Parliament House of Australia and produced a portfolio of forty-four photographs depicting the new structure.

Beginning in the 1980s, Fiona Hall began to incorporate more sculptural works into her exhibitions. In 1984, she produced the series “Morality Dolls: The Seven Deadly Sins”, a group of seven cardboard marionettes constructed from photocopies of medical engravings. Hall’s “Illustrations to Dante’s Divine Comedy” consisted of photographs of human figures made from painted and burnished aluminum cans. Starting in 1989, she produced a continuing series of work entitled “Paradisus Terestris” which used sardine tins to form botanical sculptures. These botanical forms sat on top of opened sardine cans which revealed human sexual parts corresponding to the attributes of the plants above. By the late 1990s, Hall had completely stopped her photographic work to focus on sculpture. 

Since then, Hall has received numerous commissions for many public works. Among these are the 1998 “Fern Garden”, a twenty-square-meter permanent installation of landscape art at the National Gallery of Australia; the 1998 series “Cash Crop” at the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens; the 2000 “A Folly for Mrs Macquarie” in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens; and a sculpture for the Chancellery Building of the University of South Australia. 

Fiona Hall represented Australia in 2015 at the 56th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale with an installation work entitled “Wrong Way Time”. This work was created with the collaboration of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, a social enterprise of the Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council which provides a range of community, family, research and advocacy services. This exhibition focused on the themes of death, extinction and annihilation. Included in the installation was Hall’s “All the King’s Men”, a series of twenty sculptures constructed of shredded military uniforms knitted by the artist into twenty oversized heads adorned with teeth, bones and found objects. These hollow skeletal figures represented the many who have fallen, and would fall, in war and conflict.

Hall continues to exhibit her work at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney where she has exhibited since 1995. In 2013 she became an Officer in the general division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the visual arts as a painter, sculptor, photographer and art educator.  

Note: An interview between Fiona Hall and Anna Dickie on Hall’s “Wrong Way Time” exhibition can be found at the online art magazine “Ocula” located at:

A listing of Fiona Hall’s exhibitions and additional images of her “Paradisus Terestris” sculptures can be found at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery site located at:

Second Insert Image: Fiona Hall, “Wrong Way Time”, 2015, Installation View, Australian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale

Third Insert Image: Fiona Hall, “”Lair”, 2004, 15 cm / “Lesion”, 2004, 19 cm / “Rising Tide”, 2002, 15 cm, Musical Snow Domes, Private Collection

Fourth Insert Image: Fiona Hall, “Wrong Way Time”, 2015, Installation View, Australian Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale

Bottom Insert Image: Fiona Hall, Untitled, 2015, Coal and Aluminum, 50 x 40 x 32 cm, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Nina Saunders

Nina Saunders: Sculptural Works

Born in 1958 in Odense, Denmark, Nina Saunders studied Fine Art and Critical Studies at Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Working across a wide range of materials, her artwork and installations play with the functions of objects, which appear familiar but question our preconceptions.

Saunders strips domestic objects of their comfort and use, turning them into odd, subversive works of art which project a disturbing sense of humor. Reclaimed sofas and chairs with floral patterned upholstery seem to melt into amoebic forms flowing across rooms, or take the form of bizarre creatures with swelling cushions and awkward angled legs.

Saunders’s work range from small objects such as upholstered hairbrushes and oddly-shaped, vinyl-wrapped dust pans with zippers to larger works, such as the 2017 “She May Not Be Your Friend But She is Your Hairdresser”, a sculptural work fashioned from a 1950s hairdressing chair, a deer head, plywood, foam, and deerskin.

Even when a Saunders installation scene seems normal, the effect can be mildly disturbing. In Saunders’s 2002 installation “Forever”, the scene is an ordinary middle-class room with limited-budget furniture, containing a potted plant, a gash in the wall, and a rocking swing suspended from the ceiling. Playing in the background is a loop of singer Engelbert Humperdinck singing the Demis Roussos song “Forever and Ever”. Although containing normal, recognizable objects, the scene is strikingly reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode.

Nina Saunders has exhibited her works at many international locations including the Pallant House in London,;Note Art Contemporanea in Arezzo, Italy; and The British Council in Brussels. Her work was in the group show “Hidden Histories, Untold Stories” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Nordic and Danish Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale; and the Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa, Finland.

Brixel Mirror

BREAKFAST, “Brixel Mirror”, 2018, Kinetic Art Installation, Brooklyn, New York

Founded in 2009, BREAKFAST is a new media artist collective focused on creating innovative software and hardware driven artworks. These sculptures connect viewers to far-away places through interactive experiences, telling stories about our rapidly changing world. 

The studio’s practice employs a unique blend of mechanical engineering, computer science, and playful aesthetics to invite audiences to reflect on the relationship between the physical and  the digital, as well as the global and the intimate. The sculptures reflect the evolving relationship between human bodies and the technological innovation of the information age.

The “Brixel Mirror” is a 19 foot wide by 6 foot-tall installation made up of 540 Brixels, black on one side and polished aluminum on the other. The kinetic sculpture is the first installation built by BREAKFAST to utilize their new technology, which is a digitally controlled system that rotates each “brick” to make them act as pixels. The “Brixel Mirror” can cycle between various content, including “Silhouette” where, when you approach the installation, the Brixels directly in front of you rotate, creating a mirror that matches your silhouette that moves with you giving a one-to-one reflection.

BREAKFAST’s artworks have been exhibited worldwide, including the World Trade Center in New York City, the Houston Space Center in Texas, the 2019 Momeni Exhibition in Hamburg, Germany,  Google in Moscow, and at Christie’s in New York City. There are many permanent installation sites, including the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, the WNDR Museum in Chicago, and the Hudson Yards in New York City. 

Many thanks to BREAKFAST’s site:

Mark Manders

Sculptural Work by Mark Manders

Born in 1968 in Volkel, The Netherlands, Mark Manders currently lives and works in Ronse, Belgium. He first studied graphic design, but soon changed his studies to sculpture, becoming interested in the paralleled evolution of humans and objects.

Mark Manders is best known for his rough-hewn, unfired clay sculptures, often later cast in bronze, and his installations of randomly arranged objects. Over thirty years of work, Mark Manders has developed an endless self-portrait in the form of sculpture, still life, and architectural plans. His works present mysterious and evocative tableaux that allow viewers to construct their own narrative conclusions and meanings.

Manders’ first conception of the self-portrait, inspired by an interest in writing, was more literal and employed language and the written word in the form of an autobiography. He later began to explore the architecture of story telling, focusing on structure, rather than on specific content. This early realization has resulted in a continually expanding body of sculptural investigations of form, meaning and narrative.

In 2010, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles opened a major retrospective of Mark Manders’ work entitled “Parallel Occurrences / Documented Assignments”,  which later traveled to the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, through 2012. Manders represented the Netherlands in 2013 at the 55th Venice Biennale. He also had solo exhibitions at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago de Compostel, Spain, both in 2014, Manders has had three solo exhibitions at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, with locations both in Los Angeles and New York City.

Mark Mander’s 2017 sculptural work “September Room (Room with Two Reclining Figures and Composition with Long Verticals”, shown in image one, is now part of the Minneapolis Sculptural Garden at the Walker Art Center. Positioned in one of the Garden’s original formal quadrants, Manders’s commission consists of a grouping of five bronze sculptures combining human forms, architecture, and everyday objects, to suggest both the ancient and new.

Lucy Glendinning

Lucy Glendinning, “Feather Child 4″, Date Unknown, Feathers on Form

Lucy Glendinning is a sculptor and installation artist, who works in a contemporary British sculpture tradition. Her different aesthetic expressions are brought together under one central entry point: the human body as a semiotic medium. For Glendinning, art is the primary tool for investigating psychological and philosophical themes. Her work is thus permeated by a conceptual content, superior to the value of aesthetics.

Glendinning seduces the observing eye by emphasing subtle expressions and presenting stunning craftsmanship. Her way of cleverly combining paradoxical qualities are revealed in the twisted combinations of tenderness and brutality, empathety and ignorance, stillness and movement.

The suite “Feather Child” series originates from Glendinning’s fascination with visions of a future society. The feathered children are embodied questions, where the artist is asking us if we, in a world where our genetics could be freely manipulated, will be able to resist altering our physical abilities. Will necessity or vanity be the ruling power? The fragility of the feathers is simultaneously mirroring the perhaps most classic tale of human hubris: the fate of Icarus in Greek mythology.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, “He Xie (River Crab)”, 2010, Porcelain

The installation “He Xie” consists of 3,200 porcelain crab sculptures. They were created after Chinese authorities ransacked and destroyed Weiwei’s studio in 2010. Following that event, a feast of real river crabs was hosted by Weiwei, who was unable to attend, due to his house arrest. The term “He Xie” is a homophone for “harmonious” in Chinese and has also become a term for internet censorship.

Irina Nakhova

Irina Nakhova, “Pilot”, 2015, Installation at the 2015 Venice Biennale

“Pilot” is one part of a three-part installation “The Green Pavilion” presented by Russian artist Irina Nakhova at the Venice Biennale in 2015. It is a giant head of a helmeted pilot whose features subtly changed activated by sensors in the room to the movements of the viewers.

“When you walk into the first room, all the sizes are different, and who greets you there is the pilot. The pilot is your navigator through time. So when you are here, there is dark. The skies are closed, but you are in the cockpit of the flight. When you come closer to the pilot, his eyes open, he looks at you and he also looks at the sky, and you can see that the sky are opening [via a skylight]. Then you really see what’s going on, but it’s also like in a dream because there is no verbal communication.” -Irina Nakhova

An installation artist and academically trained painter, Nakhova combines painting, sculpture, and new media into interactive installations and environments that engage viewers as co-creators of conceptual mindscapes. A part of a new generation of Russian non-comformist artists now known as the Moscow Conceptual School, Nakhova received international recognition as a young artist for her first ‘total installation’ entitled “Rooms (1983-1987)”. She was chosen as the first female artist to represent Russia at its pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Irina Nakhova

Irina Nakhova, “Primary Colors 2″, 2003, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 116 x 183 centimeters, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York

Irina Nakhova currently lives and works in Moscow and New Jersey. She graduated from the Graphic Design Department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute in 1978. Nakhova was a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR from 1986 to1989 and is considered one of the founding members of the Moscow Conceptualist movement. She is known for her “total installations” in which her art controls the space in a room.

Trevor Leaf

Trevor Leat, “Calgary Stag”, Willow Wicker Sculpture

Trevor Leat  is one of the foremost creators of willow sculptures in the UK. Using traditional techniques combining beauty with functionality, Trevor Leat has been weaving willow to great effect for over 30 years. Although he creates baskets, garden furniture and even willow coffins, it is for his willow sculpture he is best known.

His work ranges from lifesize animals and figures, through to giant willow sculptures spectacularly burned at festivals and events such as The Wickerman Festival, The Edinburgh Hogmanay Celebrations and The Burns Light Festival in Dumfries. Based in coastal Galloway, Southern Scotland, Leat’s work is exhibited widely in galleries, and seen by tens of thousands at festivals and events around the UK and beyond.

Harriet Horton

Harriet Horton: Sleep Subjects

Repulsed by the fusty impala torsos procured by macho trophy-hunting and goths shrinking squirrel heads to wear on velvet necklaces alike, taxidermist Harriet Horton has gone on her own way. Strictly ethical about procuring already deceased animals, she takes regular trips to her parental home in near-rural Stratford-Upon-Avon and makes use of a deep-freezer in her east London home.

Horton’s approach to taxidermy has always set out to explore animals in a foreign environment from their original habitat. The animals are stuffed, dyed then positioned on marble and concrete plinths, lit by luminescent halos of neon. The site-specific installations are then soundtracked with eerie industrial-classical music. Horton’s 2015 “Sleep Subjects” exhibition, shown in a crypt in Euston, was very successful.

“I was playing around with different aesthetics and thought of incorporating neon. When I used it, I realised its warm temperature and how relaxing it feels. It changes both your mood and that of the piece, and it makes the taxidermy less about death. I really don’t like the gothic side of taxidermy, it’s not for me. So instead I’ll place a magpie under simple white neon arc and the wings are down but the body’s curved perpendicular to the neon. It’s surreal but unless you know a lot about ornithology it wouldn’t look very weird; it’s just a subtle change to its posture.”- harriet Horton

Ming Fay

Ming Fay, “Shad Crossing”, Detail, 2014, Glass Mosaic, Delancy Street Subway Station, New York City

On the Manhattan-bound platform of the F Line at Delancy Street Station, the mosaic mural depicts a cherry orchard that was originally part of the Delancy family farm, that was at today’s Orchard Street. On the Brooklyn-bound side of the platform, shad fish, which make runs through rivers every spring, represent the travel of immigrants across the ocean.

Ming Fay is a Shanghai-born and New York City-based sculptor and professor. His work focuses on the garden as a symbol of utopia and the relationship between man and nature. He is well known for his sculptures and installations. Ming Fay currently teaches sculpture at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

Jean-Daniel Allanche 

Art Brut: Jean-Daniel Allanche

Born in Tunisia, Jean-Daniel Allanche returned to France for his studies, and ultimately became a professor of physics at the Faculty of Sciences Paris 7. In 1975 he bought an apartment on the Rue des Ciseaux, a small street in Paris’s central area of Saint-Germain.

In the late 1970s Allanche began embellishing his apartment with his paintings. After working for years, ultimately all available surfaces, including the ceilings, floors, cabinet doors, and step treads, along with the walls, were covered with polychrome works featuring whimsical motifs.

There are also occasional texts interspersed with the visuals, offering Allanche’s personal views, and on one of the doors he has painted his surname. The majority of the paintings, however, appear to have a more targeted decorative function; this is in line with a notation in one of his vast collection of notebooks, where he wrote that he believed he had managed to reveal the intimate relationship between musical harmony and colors.

Others of his notebooks included additional texts and aphorisms, but also hundreds of pages with sequences of numbers, referencing Allanche’s passion for gambling and his efforts, as a professor of physics, to model disorder.

Although Allanche’s artistic activity must have played an important role in his life, he was not very talkative about it, so his decorated apartment remained largely unknown. After Allanche died in Paris in August 2015, his heirs decided that they would retain it as a private apartment. Removable frescoed elements such as the doors have been preserved and the remainder of the apartment has been basically restored to its original state.

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV

Twisted Bamboo Sculptures by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV

Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV earned a degree in sculpture from Tokyo University of the Arts and trained in bamboo crafts at a school in Beppu on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

Chikuunsai IV produces twisting installations of woven bamboo that meld into their environment’s floor and ceiling. To bend the durable material he first moistens each piece to achieve the perfect curve, and often recycles the same pieces of bamboo for future installations. In 2017 the artist constructed a site-specific piece titled “The Gate” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The work used tiger bamboo that had been used ten times, including in a piece shown at the Guimet Mueseum in Paris.

“Technique and skill and spirit are important, My parents taught me that this spirit is more important than technique. Using bamboo, I try to keep the spirit and tradition in my heart as I create new work.” -Tanabe Chikuunsai IV

Do Ho Suh

Fabric Installations by Do Ho Suh

Do Ho Suh’s immersive architectural installations—unexpectedly crafted with ethereal fabric—are spaces that are at once deeply familiar and profoundly alien. Suh is internationally renowned for his “fabric architecture” sculptures that explore the global nature of contemporary identity as well as memory, migration, and our ideas of home.

The large-scale installations of the artist’s brightly hued “Hub” sculptures—intricately detailed, hand-sewn fabric recreations of homes where Suh has lived from around the world. The Hubs comprise a series of conjoined rooms and passageways that visitors can enter and experience from the inside.

Suh was born in Korea and moved to the United States at the age of 29 in 1991, and he currently lives between New York, London, and Seoul. He crafts his works using traditional Korean sewing techniques combined with 3-D modeling and mapping technologies. Suh sees these works as “suitcase homes,” so lightweight and portable they can be installed almost anywhere.

Katharina Fritsch

Three Sculpture Installations by Katharina Fritsch

German sculptor Katharina Fritsch is known for her sculptures and installations that reinvigorate familiar objects with a jarring and uncanny sensibility. Her works’ iconography is drawn from many different sources, including Christianity, art history and folklore. She attracted international attention for the first time in the mid-1980s with life-size works such as a true-to-scale elephant. Fritsch’s art is often concerned with the psychology and expectations of visitors to a museum.

Katharina Fritsch takes on relatively ordinary subjects in new, and often times jarring, ways. Most notably is the size of her works. Though many are meant specifically for museums, the size and scope of these works make a real impact. The images above are examples of that:  “Child with Poodles” (1995),  “Company at the Table (1998)” and “Rattenkonig” (1993).

The first, “Child with Poodles”, has rows of poodles facing in at a single child. This thick ring of objects creates a barrier between the viewer and the child, creating a dark or sinister feel to the piece. The second work, “Company at the Table”, leaves a haunting impression on many levels. The identical, faceless people and the size of the fifty foot table leave quite a cold and impersonal impression. Her sculpture “Rattenkonig” consists of a circle of large polyester resin rats painted black Facing out to the museum visitors. The scale of the piece is again quite large and formidable; nine foot rats in a circle forty two feet wide.

Gothic Raygun Rocketship

Gothic Raygun Rocketship, Pier 14, San Francisco, California

The sculpture installation first landed at Burning Man event in 2009, and has subsequently appeared at the NASA “Ames for Yuri’s Night” and is now at Pier 14 in San Francisco.

This spectacular forty foot tall sci-fi sculpture is the creation of Bay Area artists Sean Orlando, Nathaniel Taylor, David Shulman and the dedicated crew of the Five Ton Crane Arts Group, who helped to bring their fantastic vision to fruition – a larger than life 1930’s-1940’s pulp fiction space ship, gleaming silver legs forever prepped for lift off, three interior chambers fitted with all of the whimsical knobs and dials that you dreamed of as a kid.

Originally created as a 2009 art installation for the Burning Man Festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the large-scale immersion based piece currently resides on Pier 14, illuminated and dreamy at night and flashing with retro ingenuity during the day. Its presence inspiring the imaginations of all who see it, it stands tall as a symbol of what could have been, but never was.