GAME ON is Murdoch University’s latest Public Art Commission, created for the new Murdoch University Sports Precinct at the South Street campus.
Funded under the University’s Percent for Art strategy, this colourful, wall-based abstract sculpture was created by West Australian artist, Angela McHarrie.
For her latest commission, McHarrie drew inspiration from the linear sports field and court markings that feature on the ovals within the Sports Precinct. The dynamic shapes and angles of this sculpture are reminiscent of exercise, movement and resistance; all of which the body encounters during a sporting game.
Angela McHarrie is a West Australian artist whose practice spans sculpture, drawing and painting. Through her works she takes what we know and tests its limits, inviting us to draw on our own understanding of the world and create our own meaning. Formally, her works reflect her interest in shape, contour, structure and space. A reduction of signs to their elemental presence is evident in many of her works.
We sat down with Angela to talk about her art, inspirations and the passion that feeds her work.
What were you doing before art? Have you always known this is what you wanted to do?
I have always been interested in art and studied it at school, but it wasn't until I returned to WA after living overseas for eleven years that I decided I was going to try and pursue visual art as a full time career.
I had been studying art history while living in the UK and rather than continue with that at a university here, I elected to do an Advanced Diploma at TAFE before completing my BA at Curtin. Although my major at both institutions was painting, it was at TAFE that my interest in sculpture developed as I became more confident. .
What drew you to art?
I respond to art in all its different forms. Art makes you think about the world in different ways. It can be confronting, it can be meditative, it can be beautiful, it can be ugly, but whatever form it takes, good art inspires a visceral response and an opinion. I am not sure what drew me to make art. It feels like a compulsion which has always been part of me.
What was your first piece?
My first artwork, which still exists, is a drawing I did aged about 16, but the majority of my art output began with works for my graduation exhibition in 2005. The exhibition also led to me being offered my first public art opportunity in 2006, a temporary work in Forrest Place in Perth. 'Exchange' was a twenty-eight-metre-long text maze, which encouraged commuters to take a different path through a space they crossed daily.
Who, or what, has been your biggest inspiration?
A reductive or minimal approach to art making always draws me in and so I am inspired by artists like Agnes Martin and Rachel Whiteread, but I also love vibrant colour. I adore Anish Kapoor's sculptures and Sol LeWitt is also a favourite.
How has your art evolved over the years?
My art evolves slowly. My principal preoccupations remain fairly consistent.
Aside from art, what are you most passionate about?
I love to travel. It is a cliché, but it really does broaden your mind. I always come home full of ideas.
What is the process that goes into creating a new piece?
One work develops into the next a lot of the time. Usually making or researching something leads to discoveries which inspire new ideas or shifts. Materials can also influence my ideas. Group exhibitions with overarching themes generate opportunities to explore concepts and public art briefs offer challenges.
At the moment I am researching for a potential solo exhibition in 2021 and once I have resolved my concept, I will set about deciding how best to portray it. My work is multi-disciplinary so there are numerous options. Too many sometimes!