Much Love Monday | Benja in the Attic

OBJECT gallery project space is shaped like a wedge of pizza. It reminded paper artist, Benja Harney of an attic so he made his first solo show “The Paper Attic” a collection of the sort of objects one would find in a children’s book attic.

Harney thought of Mary Poppins and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe when looking at Harney’s paper books, paper beams and even his sweet little paper musical box. The over-riding difference though is a distinct lack of dust or patina. Unlike an old scrapbook caked with time, Harney’s materials are pristine. This is the cleanest attic you have ever seen and oddly the most sterile. I imagined he might used stained papers, or watermarked ones to evoke age but the work is probably meant to be more sculptural and less literal than that. The best thing in the room, to my eye, were the vinyl records, piled against the wall. Their form suited the two dimensional illusionism of paper objects and the short hand of the artist so well. For anyone old enough to recollect that is exactly how albums wound up at parties or on the living room floor and for many that is where vinyl now lives.On a floor somewhere. In a pile, possibly in an attic, relegated to memory. Harney’s work has the blank face of a pop artist but just enough humility of craft not to resemble a window display.  I love the material description on the catalogue which simply say’s “Paper, glue”.  There is art in creating so many objects from a fairly un-yeilding material and there is poetry in paper because it obvious that we live in a man-made and not a hand made world.
{words by Anna Johnson}

The Paper Attic curated by Tara D’criz-Noble runs till September 25th …OBJECT Gallery, 417 Bourke street. Surry Hills.
Tuesday to Froday, 11am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm. www.object.com.au

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Photography: www.katiepreece.com

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