Described as one of Australia’s most inventive artists, Mikala Dwyer creates objects and installations that are both playful and provocative, re-imagining familiar materials and what they say to us about the world in which we live. Mikala Dwyer: A Shape of Thought looks at Dwyer’s work over the past three decades documenting the evolution of her practice and her influences.
Her work is characterized by a playful and excessive accumulation of elements – she has created installations out of fabric, play dough, stockings, felt, vinyl, plastic, organza and nail varnish. Her choice of materials has been identified as feminine and by extension as a subtle feminist critique of recent art history. However her teasing references to modernist abstraction, the more organic forms of minimalism and to pop art (such as the saggy Kenneth Noland-like target forms and Oldenburg-esque baggy vinyl shapes in ‘Hanging eyes’) are an acknowledgment of antecedents rather than necessarily having a critical agenda. Dwyer’s highly engaging sculptures explore ideas about shelter, childhood play, modernist design and the relationship between people and objects. Often beguiling in their colour and profusion, her works incorporate raw materials and found objects in inventive and unexpected ways that transform their architectural settings.