(Cut paper form (shot by Casey Ayers) / Collaboration with crystals / Collaboration with butterflies / Goodbye Father / Goodbye Mother)
Exhibition images shot by Jedda Andrews unless otherwise stated.
Tané Andrews is one of the most talented and stylish people I know. His self-discipline and dedication is rivalled by no other. ‘Time bids be gone’ is his latest body of works and is currently showing at the Heathcote Gallery & Museum. As an avid fan of his art and style, here is an insight into both…
> Please describe ‘time bids be gone’. What are the ideas and inspirations underlying the works?
‘Time bids be gone’ is a joint show between myself and fellow West Australian artist Moira de la Hunty, we had wanted to work together on an exhibition for sometime and this opportunity presented itself and we felt like it was a natural fit. The exhibition includes drawings, sculptures and paper forms as well as growing crystal and hatchling butterflies.
For ‘time bids be gone’ I wanted to convey the fragility of nature and time, I was thinking about how I could represent the interplay between life and death within a body of work.
> You’ve expanded your use of mediums to include crystals. What caused you to explore this, and is it a medium you will use again?
I wanted to create a work that would be different every time you viewed it. So it would grow and develop as the exhibition progressed. Heathcote Gallery & Museum is quite far away for some people, I wanted to make a work that responded to this, so it was worth your time to go and visit the exhibition more than once.
The work is made up of two parts, the cut paper and the borax crystals that are growing up over the work. The paper is cut by hand and then by lasers, then parts of the work were dipped into a crystal bath and allowed to soak for a few days.The paper retains the solution and keeps growing and budding new crystals as the weeks progress.
It is definitely a material that I will keep using, I’ve only scratched the surface and started developing it’s potential – I now want to dip everything in the bath! I feel it must be like when you first buy a deep fryer and you literally fry everything in your fridge, just to see what it will taste like.
> Are there pieces in the exhibition that you feel especially close to? If so, which ones and why?
I think the most personal pieces are the ones based on my parents, ‘Goodbye Mother’ and ‘Goodbye Father’. I made the works in response to both my parents suffering from life-threatening illnesses in the lead up to the show. The works are the exact size of the their caskets. I wanted to create two works that considered death and alluded to it, but without using any of the traditional symbols of death. More of a feeling or a tone rather than anything too obvious.
> I really love ‘Collaboration with butterflies’. Can you please explain the concept behind it?
I wanted to create a work that used living butterflies in a very respectful and considered way. I have use dead butterflies in my work for many years and I thought it was time I looked at the whole life cycle.
I knew that working with a living organism was going to polarise opinion, but I think anyone who has seen the work and understands the process knows that my intention was only to highlight the magical moment of a butterfly hatching in way that was sensitive to the butterfly and the viewer.
The living pupas are suspended inside a glass dome by a bronze arm that was created in collaboration with Melbourne based jewellery company Henson. The caterpillars we carefully placed onto brown bark so they would pupate brown rather than the usual green, they camouflage depending on what natural material they pupate on. The butterflies are native to Western Australia and once they hatch they are released into the surrounding gardens at Heathcote.
(Tané in his home / His beloved Vivienne Westwood Gold Label knits)
> I’d love to know the interrelationship between your art and your personal style. Does your art influence your style or is it vice versa or both?
When I was in high school I remember my art teacher telling me that, ‘a sophisticated artist uses a limited palette’, I think that’s something that’s always stuck with me, and I believe it’s a saying that can apply to any creative field or design. It’s definitely rung true in the way I dress and the art I make. I tend to wear a lot of black and white, both of which are found in my artwork.
But to be totally honest I think the art I make and they way I dress isn’t as calculated as it may appear, so much of it is governed by money (or lack there of), what I can find around me and what is available to me at the time.
> Who are your favourite designers? Does their work influence your art and how?
Personally I love the work of Lee McQueen, Thierry Mugler, Iris van Herpen and Riccardo Tisci. All have referenced the natural world in their work so effectively.
The couture work by Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and Iris Van Herpen is so incredible; the way they are able to create a handful of looks that all display a very different technical skill yet still unified by a singular concept. However, my favourite by far is Lee McQueen, he was such a visionary. I always loved the key elements to his design process, such as the symmetrical mirrored prints on the body, the way he would hybrid people with animals and his ability to create an environment at his fashion shows; I think those three things influence me most.
> What are your favourite pieces in your wardrobe? Why are they your favourite?
My favourite pieces are my Vivienne Westwood Gold jumpers and cardigans.
It’s taken me so much saving and lay-bying to collect them. Also, my close friend Daniel has been amazing and given me a few to me for my birthday and Christmas presents.
I love them because so many people think they are from an op shop or are hand-me-downs and a lot of them have holes in them because they are so delicate, but that makes me love them more.
I once read in an interview with Vivienne Westwood, which said that she wanted her Gold Label knitwear ‘to be as if angels made them’ and you can really feel that when you wear them. There is something about her ‘spinning straw in gold’ mentality that I really relate to and admire.
‘Time bids be gone’ will be showing until Sunday 30th June. Go check it out if you have time. Each piece is overwhelmingly beautiful and perfect. Click here to view a short feature video on the exhibition.