Exploring complex concepts through organic sculptures.
Sydney-based artist Jamie North spent his childhood in two different worlds. On one side, a coastal area with a bushland landscape in New South Wales. On the other, the industrial side of Newcastle, near the BHP Steelworks. His work clearly draws inspiration from both. Featuring a blend of concrete, aggregate of steel slag, along with native Australian plants, Jamie North’s sculptures and large-scale installations captivate and draw the viewer closer. Organic and industrial elements combine in intriguing compositions. And despite their “found object” look, many of the metal and cement sections are actually crafted by the artist.
Reminiscent of urban elements overrun by nature, the sculptures reference the cycle of decay and decomposition, as well as the re-birth that follows. For his solo show Slidings which included commissioned installations, the artist also referenced the history of the Lock-Up building, which dates back to 1861 and served as a penal space. The artworks from this exhibit bring together raw steel as well as steel slag and scale, along with concrete, marble dust, and flora.
The concept of constant change, evolution, and a dialogue between archaeological and natural elements appear throughout the artist’s work. Plants give life to the industrial waste and decaying, corroded materials. The organic and inorganic elements tell the story of cyclic nature of decay and renewal. One that the viewer feels compelled to discover. The Slidings exhibition at Newcastle’s Lock-Up features several sculptural installations. These included Heraclitus (2017), Oracle Bone (2017), and Remainder No.12 (2017) and Remainder No.10 (2017). Photographs© Jamie North.