Donna Lougher

Symbolic Constellations

14 May – 7 June 2024
The title Symbolic Constellations encapsulates the idea of various elements coming together to form a meaningful whole, much like stars in a constellation. The objects or concepts can be associated with symbolism in various contexts and cultures.
During an artist residency in Mexico City 2023, I discovered a rich cultural heritage filled with symbolism from ancient civilizations, indigenous beliefs and traditions, through colonial influences, contemporary art, and in literature and architecture.
Symbolic Constellations and its relationship to Mexico, can also correlate to living in lutruwita Tasmania, once attached to North America in a supercontinent called Nuña. A mass of land which preceded the Gondwana formation.
Tasmania has its own unique symbolic meanings embedded within the local landscape, indigenous culture, and historical heritage. The constellation of symbols ranges from the natural wonders of rugged terrain, unique wildlife, cultural heritage, aboriginal communities, and colonial history.
The earth-inspired colours and materials in the sculptures and paintings, highlight their connection to the natural world, and evoke a sense of the raw, textured beauty of the materials.
A combination of traditional and contemporary media conveys mood, texture, and depth, including the use of synthetics, which relate to environmental concerns. LED and lights, introduce an interactive and dynamic element to the work, while scale and perspective suggest a multidimensional approach to create engaging and thought provoking works of art.
Each artwork represents a different concept or theme, including progress, consumerism, materiality, mortality, transition, knowledge or enlightenment.
Maurice Merleau – Ponty, a French philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, emphasizes that perception is not simply a passive reception of sensory information, but an active, embodied engagement with the world.
The interconnectedness of all phenomena and the idea of multiple symbolic elements coming together to form a cohesive whole, through our sense of perception, is similar to how stars in a constellation create recognisable patterns in the sky.
The observed distance is not simply subjective however, but already inscribed into the object itself, the object itself returns the gaze. “Sure, the picture is in my eye, but I am also the picture”.

Slavoj Zizek, The Parallax View