desperate endeavours to create life from primordial sludge
“From the primordial sludge the being is made: golem, new life, self-replicating cappuccino foam, elemental secrets, body malfunctions, leave a hole for the soul, numinous breath, desiring humanness, pack them away for a rainy day, six drops of sinister sauce, stir vigorously to remove lumps, sneeze into schnoz for desired liveliness, desperately vulnerable, crumbling effigies, it’s alive! “
Nicholas Hanisch’s recent body of work investigates creation narratives within the history of figurative sculpture, whilst celebrating the humour, the horror, the happenstance, and the sheer endeavour of creation. In his process, he focuses on ways in which to generate effectual responses in the audience, encouraging them to respond to the work as though it were a living being and react through expressions of emotion, whether that be humour, horror, or fear.
Making People: desperate endeavours to create life from primordial sludge, is a series of sculptures specifically focusing on the Jewish folktale of the Golem as well as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Hanisch uses clay modelling, plaster cast reproduction, and plaster building techniques to form larger-than-life sculptures that encourage imaginative responses from the viewer as these inanimate objects become unavoidably anthropomorphic. During the making process, these sculptures constantly evolved, responded to, and adapted to their surroundings. Like Prometheus moulding man in Greek mythology or the cadaver amalgamation of Frankenstein’s Monster, Hanisch imbues his sculptures with a sense of life that aims to generate a human response with the viewer.
★ Selected for the Hatched: National Graduate Show 2021 at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.
★ Recipient of the Lee Family Award for high-achieving Bachelor of Visual Arts [Hons] graduate at Adelaide Central School of Art.
★ Recipient of the Bachelor of Visual Arts [Honours] Scholarship at Adelaide Central School of Art.
Photography by James Field.
Photography by Rosina Possingham.