In the upstairs gallery of Off the Kerb, Shini Pararajasingham’s exhibition I Heart Collingwood can be found. On opening night a hostess, or ticket-master of sorts, guarded the entrance of this exhibition. Cigarette in hand, she stoped the viewers in their tracks, informing them of the small entry fee to enter and experience this exhibition. An immense pink curtain was drawn around the passageway. The ticket master is now gone; there is no price to be paid. All that remains are the three lonesome centerpieces of this exhibition: three hearts.
Made from play dough and chicken wire, the hearts float peacefully in the centre of the room surrounded by pink walls, suspended from the roof by fishing line. The sound of a heartbeat plays softly in the space as you enter this pink chamber. Once solid and doughy, the hearts are now hard and have almost begun to crystallise; turning cloudy as if they are being transformed into a more solid form. It is as if they are ageing, worn and weathered by time.
There is a natural human connection to this organ. We are flooded with a want to touch this sculpture and examine its ‘realness’. However, we are afraid to do so, because it is art in a gallery. We are caught, frozen in time, staring at these hearts that seem real but are synthetic, living but dead.
Off The Kerb Gallery and Studios
66B Johnston Street, Collingwood
Dates: 29 April - 20 May