'Free Fall', Spain.
As artists, Wona Bae and Charlie Lawler have walked an ever shifting path of creative evolution since first meeting in Germany in 2004. Their partnership has since explored a variety of artistic persona’s, pushing their unique yet cohesive backgrounds, which have seen them both surrounded by nature and art, to a point that they now – with their identity firmly established in Loose Leaf – occupy a singularly unique area of the creative landscape.
After a metamorphosis of sorts Loose Leaf is stepping into a new era, carefully guided by Bae and Lawler and staying true to their original philosophy which explores themes of life and death, impermanence, material temporality and the restorative power of nature. Their collaborative works are now predominantly commissioned as individual works, or as part of large public art commissions that redefine the context of nature in the urban landscape and hint at the ever present relationship between the two.
‘Hover Wreath’, Tokyo.
This week, Bae and Lawlers work will formally launch into a new persona with the opening of their Melbourne exhibition, Primitive Matter, at Backwoods Gallery. Like their previous works, that have established Loose Leaf as an incomparable creative practice, the pieces developed for Primitive Matter are beautifully constructed from natural materials which they have pushed to its limits to introduce new depth and meaning.
‘Terra Firma’ for Primitive Matter
Both Lawler and Bae have carefully converged their individual artistic disciplines to poetically reach their recognisable aesthetic of today. Defined by their experimental use of natural matter to realise works still firmly anchored to the original form of their chosen medium, the sensitivity and considered approach of these two artists is astounding. Their works explore the relationship between humans and nature and, experiencing their large scale installations and individual pieces, this connection is articulated by a beautiful yet poignant resolution.
The processes that Lawler and Bae adopt take natural materials and explore outcomes of altering their form, composition and finish, yet the emerging artworks consistently retain the essence of the original within a profoundly new outcome. Their ability to demonstrate a uniquely respectful manipulation of nature to reintroduce it in an entirely new light is what ultimately bridges the gap between nature and urban landscapes, and gently alludes to a co-existence that lays bare our desire to find a happy medium between the two.
Photography by Loose Leaf.
Primitive Matter will open at Backwoods gallery on 1st March 2019 and run until 10th March 2019.
Words by Tiffany Jade