Augusta Vinall Richardson at La Trobe Art Institute, Bendigo, 2023 | Circles of dialogue curated by Amelia Wallin


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excerpt from Amelia Wallin exhibition text:

Notable for its non-urban setting, Dialogue of circles was one of Inge King’s first large scale public art commissions, and the first time she had worked with fabricators rather than undertaking the metalwork herself. Earlier works from her oeuvre, such as Group of boulders (1970–71), also installed at the Melbourne Campus, bear the marks of the handheld welder she used to finish her metal sculptures. It is this technique that has inspired the work of artist Augusta Vinall Richardson. Vinall Richardson cuts and welds steel to create precarious arrangements and interconnecting shapes, using the same tools and techniques that King developed early in her career. Through handheld welding, the edges are softened, as heat coaxes two pieces of metal to become one. These modular works of stitched together steel expose the hand of the artist, and evoke the legacy of King’s metalwork.

Like the delicate balance at play in Dialogue of circles, Vinall Richardson’s artworks give the illusion of precarity. In the work Apexes (2023), a small sculpture sits atop a plinth of stacked cardboard boxes. Vinall Richardson’s commission for this exhibition, and her largest work to date, builds on her master’s degree research into King. In service of, in service to (IK) (2023) resembles a balancing set of steel blocks. Vinall Richardson manipulates metal into new trans figurations, exploring the presence and movement of the body in relation to industrial materials. This is most apparent in Connect (2022), the work suspended in our building’s atrium, where intercut pieces of mirrored steel are assembled and linked together. In encountering this work in the gallery, we confront our own fragmented reflection through a puzzle of possible perspectives.