Flaccid Civic Monument, 2018

Steel, Industrial paint.
400 x 150 x 83cm

Lorne Sculpture Biennale, 2018, Lorne.

Flaccid Civic Monument takes after one of the earliest and most recognisable signs of cultural prowess throughout western history: the Obelisk. Needham and Waterhouse have taken this classic form and subverted it through a humorous distortion. Placed within a garden bed at the grassy outcrop overlooking the surf and the foreshore, the large-scale, painted steel obelisk will appear as if deflated and slumped upon itself. Not only will the work reference the ongoing relationship with public monuments, but also mark the 50th anniversary of Claus Oldenburg’s ‘anti-monumental’ Hole (Placid Civic Monument), 1967. 

Monumental is a new collaboration between Kyneton based sculptors Jason Waterhouse and Michael Needham, taking aim at representations of cultural memory through subversion, interrogation, mischief and general interference. It is quite deliberately a blend of practices, where the ‘serious’ edge and academic flavour of Needham’s work (looking broadly at death and representation), is spliced with the playful, imaginative and anecdotal humour of Waterhouse’s mutated commodities of the everyday. It is an acknowledgement of sculptural collegiality in the craft of material manipulation. Yet, critically, it is a strategy for integrating seemingly opposing approaches within a single identifiable methodology, unveiling creative ironies from within the wider cultural psyche.

MONUMENTAL currently has several projects underway. Stay tuned for more details.