Graham Blondel is a travelling artist, collecting parts and pieces of the world as he moves from city to city, weaving mismatched symbols and sentiments together to form kaleidoscopic and sometimes chaotic collage. Voodoo, Flowers, Paris is Blondel’s latest exhibition in Sydney – an extensive three-tiered merger of mediums on show at Redfern’s 107 Projects. The exhibition is a collage in itself, with over 100 works representing the artist’s recent musings, noted in the title.
The Voodoo portion of the exhibition is a series of sculptural assemblages – precisely arranged odds and ends that become eccentric creatures with human features. “I have collected tribal art for many decades and have studied the background to the works collected,” explains Blondel. He was particularly inspired after visiting an exhibition of African voodoo and fetish sculpture at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, “Having masses of collected junk in my studio I started earlier this year to assemble these into smallish dolls or idols.”
A collection of abstract paintings featuring a repeated flower motif represents another of the artist’s recent explorations. “The emphasis is on wild colour combinations that dazzle the senses and have a musical quality,” says Blondel. A series of 30 collage works are garnered from a stay in Paris earlier this year, with a collage for every day of September. “Paris is a city of beauty,” says Blondel. “I collect printed matter off the streets and cut, tear and add notes and drawings to each work to create images that reflect the street life, culture and vitality of place.”
Voodoo, Flowers, Paris opens at 107 Projects at 107 Redfern Street, Redfern on Thursday 21 November and continues until Sunday 30 November.