Towards a Quinta Essentia

The Visual Arts Centre, LaTrobe University, Bendigo, Victoria

by Lyn Plummer

Towards a Quinta Essentia has been visualized as an installation that responds to the Visual Arts Centre’s gallery space and surfaces and its place in the societal space.

My installations are concerned with charging and changing the nature of a space. Earlier installations have concentrated on a sense of ecclesiastical rituals and their underlying meanings, with an accent on the unheard voices of the collective makers of the accoutrements of power. They involve sculptural forms and the mark/trace of the small wall pieces, which include, fabrics, glass beads lacquers, threads, laces and paints and mediums. The installations also feature sound.

The components of this exhibition are the result of nineteen years of research into the accoutrements of high ceremonies and the nature of spiritual symbols. More recently, responses to a research trip to the Semana Santa processions in Andalucía and to Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Caceres, Spain introduced further forms which included considering the layers of influence from the previous underlying cultures as well as the designs and moulds of those earlier perceptions and how they have influenced Contemporary rituals and forms.

This installation investigates the commonality of the symbols that many cultures have chosen in their need to understand and explain man’s urge to spirituality. In the works here, the interpretations we conjure up from the symbols and meanings imbedded in the forms themselves, crossover from one set of beliefs to others. Thus many readings and identifications are possible here no matter the perspective, or belief of the viewer.

This installation harks back to the earlier works of Exhibitions like Endgame: A Simple matter of Balance. Queensland Art Gallery 1990.

In the La Trobe University’s Visual Art Centre Gallery I am drawing attention to the commonality of many symbols used across so many spiritual beliefs. The configuration and forms also draw attention to the essential underpinning of shapes, geometry, numbers and correspondences in the harmony of forms and patterns.

This installation also ponders the shifts in connotations possible in the traces of different types of marks and shapes. These forms and the traces/marks indicate the existence of an experience; and the re-tracing is a way of re-entering, re-experiencing that existence. These variants in communication, like the visual arts languages, while tangible and vital, are in a sense silent and are therefore often overlooked. This installation draws attention to these forms and marks and their latent meanings.

Within the configurations in Towards a Quinta Essentia is suspended the promise of potential symbolic inferences and eternal conjectures.

Lyn Plummer, © 16 May 2009