Jean-Marc Rivalland

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Over the past ten years my artworks have drawn upon my own personal experiences of places and people. Even in my last years of study my sculptural works documented and referenced my time within an institution that produced artists. I later produced video works that used recordings of both my social life and broader political issues occurring in the community in Perth.

Usually representative, my artworks are about the relationship I create with a surrounding social or natural environment that I experience. Although I primarily work three dimensionally I have adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to my practice, having worked with traditional techniques and mediums such as bronze casting and painting to more contemporary forms of video/performance works. Just as my art is specific to a site or place I attempt to make the medium of my artworks best represent my ideas.

Historical research is essential to understanding an unfamiliar environment and this research does inform ideas for my work. But I believe there is honesty about first impressions. In unfamiliar environments I utilise these first impressions or characteristics that stand out in a community or landscape. I look for patterns in environments; they may be physical or social patterns that I have experienced. Social experiences might be expressed as clich├ęs, stories or myths told by locals over a beer and a few laughs and for me these barstool conversations could also stimulate the ideas for my work. This way of processing my first impressions has produced work that is both humorous and engaged with the socio-political issues of a community. In both cases my artworks imbue stories that are relevant to a place or community that I have experienced.

Besides the conceptual process that my personal experience of people and places has upon my work, the choices of material available, influences the work I produce. I think when you are an artist on the move or without a studio you have to become resourceful, challenged by the lack of materials or the abundance of a material. I often scavenge and these sojourns scavenging are stories and experiences within themselves, with every material found containing a scenario. Even buying materials creates the opportunity to interact with the local community and often I find myself explaining to the local vendor the details of my work which often leads to the exchange of opinions and sometimes advice, not just about what I am doing but also their opinions about art. Everyone has a view about art.