Debutantes: Martin Bell - Art Collector

Issue 63, January - March 2013

This profile appeared in the Debutantes feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2013.

Martin Bell, Shrine, 2007, detail, flowers, clay, flashing lights, plasticine, plaster, found objects and timber, 200 x 110 x 70cm. Courtesy: the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

Born: 1985
First commercial gallery solo exhibition: September 2013, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney.

Tim Woodward, a fine art graduate from Queensland University of Technology, emerged out of the Brisbane artist run initiative Boxcopy, which supports experimental and innovative contemporary work. Woodward often works outside of the studio in a range of mediums including film, photography, video and installation. He is interested in exploring the place of the art object in the world and how media affects the ways we communicate.

Woodward’s profile has grown in the past year. In 2012, he was a recipient of an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant and spent some time at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts.

Peter McKay, curator of contemporary Australian art at the Queensland Art Gallery, which awarded him the Melville Haysom Memorial Art Scholarship in 2011, says of his work: “There’s a lot of tapping into the absurd and the awkward. He both reveals and conceals meaning and there’s a slow-burn humour to his work.” It’s a point illustrated by
Master Baker, a recent piece which uses audio commentary with a megaphone mounted on a tripod made of loaves of bread. It continues Woodward’s interest in the forms of narration, commentary and voice, with bongo drum interludes.

Woodward explains: “I’ve constructed a mono-logue from an existing commentary (something I have done with previous works) but now furnishing it in sculptural form. The speaker head is attached to a trio of baguette legs and the bread was to be a kind of truth material – an honest foundation and nourishment for the mouth. The mug of black coffee [on the floor of the installation is] a stimulus.”

Gallery owner Darren Knight, who now represents Woodward, says: “He has an original aesthetic. It looks throwaway but it is actually subtle and very carefully considered and can either be done really well [as in his case] or really badly.”

Amanda Woodard

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