Geoffrey Bartlett Sculptures

Artwork by Geoffrey Bartlett



Stainless Steel, Bronze

7.0 x 8.0 x 3.0 m

Collection of Australian National University, Ian Ross Building, Faculty of Engineering

Accompanying Bartlett's interest in exposing the skeletal structure of his forms is a desire to retain an element of mystery within his work. In a manner similar to Christo, he shrouds some aspects whilst revealing others, and intrigues the imagination to provide the missing details. Often this is achieved by covering portions of the sub-structure with metal and tracing the hidden frame with patterns of heavy nails or spot welds, providing a contoured impression of the structure. In tandem with Bartlett's use of self-enclosed shapes and forms, this developing style has altered the general aesthetic of his work and provides a new balance between solid and see-through objects.

This technique is present in Fusion 2000, a large scale commission recently completed for the Australian National University. Bartlett has exposed the top and bottom sections of the enormous curved truss, whilst cladding the lower central section in spot welded metal, creating a striking solid object with the strength to stand out among the visual complexities of the lower floor of the building. Fusion exemplifies the sense of balance and tension inherent in Bartlett's work, with disparate objects and materials permanently suspended in a seemingly paradoxical struggle to maintain their ground over opposing elements.

from Geoffrey Bartlett: The Art of Refinement by Caroline Field, 2001