REBECCA BAUMANN

cascade

source: theroundsproject

Rebecca Baumann is a visual artist from Australia who works primarily in installation, and participatory and kinetic sculpture. In her recent work, Baumann has been critically interrogating the role of happiness and celebration, and how these phases are both manifest and used to assess the shifting tides of contemporary life. Through a formal and conceptual exploration of the detritus of celebration, including materials such as confetti, balloons, and streamers, Baumann has presented a number of key works that invite her audience to engage in a celebratory spectacle, causing them to pause and consider the validity and temporality of such events.

In 2009 she won the Spirit of Youth Award for visual arts, an Australia wide prize that includes a mentorship with the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. She was also a recipient of a Development Grant from the Department of Culture and the Arts and an Emerging New Work Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts. She holds a B.A. from Curtin University of Technology.

Baumann has presented her work around Australia. She has held solo exhibitions, including This Glorious Mess, Free Range Gallery, Perth (2009); and from the beginning; one more time, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth (2009). She has also participated in a number of group exhibitions, including Linden1968, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne (2008); SILVER: ARTRAGE 25, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2008); First Page, Breadbox Gallery, Perth (2008); New Disorder, Old Berlin, Perth (2007); and Figured Out! The Church Gallery, Perth (2004).
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source: mcacomau

Rebecca Baumann’s practice spans a range of media including kinetic sculpture, photography, performance, digital animation and installation. Central to her work is an ongoing fascination with the complex workings of human emotion and the pursuit of happiness through celebration and ritual. Methodically planned and executed, Baumann’s work often utilises colourful festive materials such as confetti, tinsel, smoke, balloons and streamers, which are momentarily, and sometimes violently, brought to life by various mechanisms including fans, ball-throwers, clocks and detonators.

Automated Colour Field (2011) is a kinetic sculpture consisting of a vast wall-mounted grid of 100 flip-clocks, each with their numbered panels replaced by paper cards in a variety of colours. The battery-operated clocks keep their own time, turning the paper cards on the minute and the hour, to create a kaleidoscopic field of colour. As in many of Baumann’s works, the mechanisms used to activate her chosen materials and the incidental noises these mechanisms generate are an important element of the experience she creates. In this work, the analogue clocks activate the paper cards, producing a low background hum and soft pattering sound like raindrops falling on a tin roof.

Baumann is preoccupied with the difference between how people perceive colour and time and how these phenomena are scientifically visualised and measured. Her main focus is the intimate relationship between colour and emotion; and the way specific colours and colour combinations can elicit particular feelings or moods. The artist explains she is interested in the way ‘colour is both universal and subjective’ with the capacity to ‘move people beyond cognitive and conscious thought’.(1) Bringing time into this equation, Baumann links the continually changing arrangements of colour generated by the flip-clocks to the fluctuating spectrum of emotions people experience over any 24hr period.

Informed by psychology, colour theory and art history, Automated Colour Field makes reference through its form and title to a movement in abstract painting known as Colour Field. Links can also be made to German artist Gerhard Richter’s colour chart paintings of the 1960s and 70s, which mimic the charts used by paint manufacturers and incorporate chance distributions of colour. Like Richter, Baumann uses processes of chance and a commercially available colour palette in her work, describing her placement of the coloured cards as being driven by a spontaneous rather than pre-planned impulse, resulting in an arbitrary arrangement of colour.
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source: qagomaqldgovau

b.1983 Perth, WA | Lives and works in Perth

Working primarily in sculpture and installation, Rebecca Baumann revels in the formal and conceptual exploration of materials. Frequently ephemeral and kinetic, her interventions in space interrogate ideas around happiness and celebration. Baumann’s current interest — the relationship between colour and emotion — reveals an engagement with the fields of psychology, sociology, colour theory and art history.

For ‘Contemporary Australia: Women’, Baumann is making three works. Smoke Fields 2012 will feature over the opening weekend on the Maiwar Green between GOMA and the State Library of Queensland. Fields of coloured smoke will be sent into the sky, with the assistance of a pyro-technician.

In Mixed Feelings 2012, a reworked printer suspended from the ceiling of the Gallery is programmed to spit out random pairings of coloured paper every minute. Paper is briefly suspended in space, before settling atop a growing multicoloured abstraction on the floor. Here, the visibility of colour is in constant flux and each shade carries a range of associations. Informed by Baumann’s investigations into the physics of falling paper, an inexact science described as ‘low dimensional chaos’, her work is controlled only up to a point — leaving space for chance and for simply letting materials do what they do.

Untitled Cascade 2012 is a gorgeous gold tinsel curtain, a mega-version drawn from the party-planner’s tool-box. Abstract but at the same time tongue-in-cheek, it is animated by a small domestic fan.