paul caporn

Reconstruction Works

17 april - 16 may 2009

Paul Caporn is exhibiting two major new installations in the main gallery.

A bright yellow excavator sitting atop a pile of yellow discarded plastic will greet visitors as they enter. Whilst reminiscent of an oversize Tonka toy it is not without a sense of humour, but as with all of Paul’s artworks there is an underlying cultural and social commentary.

He noted, “The title of some of the works and what they are made from, or are representing, does reference current economic and environmental issues, but I am not trying to be moralistic - it just sort of happened that way… I have a long-standing interest in the idea that the relationship we have with the world is an experience that is mediated through language and the things that we develop, make and use to express and manipulate our surroundings.”

The excavator, titled The Golden Age, is constructed from bright yellow plastic bins, normally used for recycling or industrial spill kits. It climbs the rubble of its own by-products and perhaps, as its title suggests, the utopian golden era it represents will end in destruction.

Accompanying the excavator will be a building crane, created from PE foam mats, the type of material often used in play centres for a soft fall surface. The building crane has always been such a strong visual symbol of a city’s financial status; think of the Dubai skyline thick with cranes, and our own skyline over the past few years and in the heady years of the mid 1980s. But this is a flaccid crane, and its title of Slump, with its variety of meanings, fits both the physical description of the artwork and what is currently happening in our economy. Measuring some eight meters long, Slump collapses in a corner of the gallery and reaches out towards the viewer.

Also on display by Paul will be a range of smaller works and installations, including a series of plastic bug catchers with neon industrial symbols trapped inside and a wall mounted work constructed from builder’s levels. Paul originally trained as a painter, graduating in 1994 with Honours from Curtin University, and this exhibition will also include painting, but created with an industrial process rather than a brush.

He commented that these paintings are “in some ways performative and relate back to artists and work involving process and time, which for me in many ways relates to the idea of labour.”

Paul’s last solo exhibition, Modified, is currently touring regional galleries around Australia.

















paul caporn artwork
polyethylene, pine
290 x 550 x 800cm
$13,200 sold to ipswich art gallery queensland
paul caporn artwork
the golden age
polyethylene, rubber
200 x 400 x 400cm
paul caporn artwork
climbing ladders, tested to the point of destruction
in collaboration with tim courtly
edition 1/6
archival inkjet print on photographic paper
80 x 53cm
$880 u/f
paul caporn artwork
polycarbonate, galvanised steel
110 x 250 x 33cm
paul caporn artwork
between the lines
cast acrylic, acrylic levels
77.5 x 77.5 x 3.5cm
$4,400 sold to artbank
paul caporn artwork
keepers 1-6
transformers, neon tubes, plastic, ply shelf
36 x 480 x 36cm
$5,000 or $880 each sold #6
paul caporn artwork
acrylic paint, jarrah, pine, mdf
paul caporn artwork
jarrah, acrylic paint, plinth
176 x 35 x 37cm
paul caporn artwork
incident with table vice
mdf, steel, polyethylene
40 x 50 x 28cm
paul caporn artwork
acrylic paint, jarrah
92 x 7.5 x 7.5cm
paul caporn artwork
incident with ocky straps
pine, steel, plastic, elastic, nylon
155 x 11 x 28cm