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SYMBIOSIS
OLIVER STEPHENS

MATERIALS: COLLECTION OF WORKS

INFLUENCES:  WILLIAM KENTRIDGE, ZADOK BEN-DAVID, PAUL STRAND, BRONWYN OLIVER, JOSEPH KOSUTH AND NIKOLAS KOENIG

Symbiosis centres around relationships, whether that be the structural relationship between sculpture and drawing, the ephemeral relationship between projected light and the images it creates, or through the conceptual relationship between buildings and people; their creators, users and destroyers. 


Ultimately, it is through these relationships that viewers see balance, complexity and meaning. Symbiosis uses these relationships to explore how we interact with buildings. Whether they be contemporary, historic or destroyed all together, our connection with the structures around us is necessary. Yet, how do we impact buildings and how are buildings remembered both collectively and individually?


The work itself is comprised of four graphite drawings and a series of small sculptures laser cut in smoky grey Perspex, mirrored Perspex and anodised steel. 


The drawings depict four different buildings, all from around Sydney. The historic Rural Bank of NSW building that used to be in Martin Place, the recently renovated Legion House on Castlereagh Street, the highly contemporary ICC at Darling Harbour and a historic building being destroyed in Petersham. 


The sculptures are a mix of 1930s-1980s street photography and photography at the sites of the buildings I have drawn. 

These images were produced into designs on Illustrator and were then laser cut. I cut the Perspex sculptures at school and the steel sculptures were manufactured through a professional laser-cutting company. Conceptually, the sculptures act as transient stencils and shadows - representations of our relationships with the structures. When lights are shone through the sculptures, variegated, layered shadows are created on
the drawings. 


This tonal, conceptual and literal connection between the two elements of the body of work and the viewer portrays the complex, yet symbiotic relationship we share with buildings, throughout time and memory.

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