Tim Silver

Search and Destroy

Tim Silver’s mercurial sculptures and installations wring
poetry from destruction and find absolution in decay.

By Peter Hill AUG 2016

“I guess my working method involves using the studio as a laboratory of sorts, where I am constantly experimenting with new materials and thinking about possible applications for them,” says the Sydney artist Tim Silver. “I am interested in the misuse of these materials in seeing how they can be put to work in unintended ways.”

In Talking to the Shadows, a 2015 book about Silver's work, author Julie Ewington offered a good overview of his practice. “The heroic subject-matter of traditional sculpture has also been set aside: Silver has cast things as various, and as humble, as skateboards, remote controls, tree stumps; once, a store mannequin of a child, as well as an ordinary man wearing ordinary clothing. It's a vernacular, even domestic repertoire,” she writes. Silver's work and his methods are constantly changing. Fittingly, entropy is a process of degeneration that fascinates him but we will come to that later. What is he involved in right now?

“I have been working on a new series Oneirophrenia, which has been taking form across a few iterations,” he says. “The work consists of plaster skins of a traditional bust casting, which is then filled with bread, sealed, and then baked. As the bread rises, it finds the weakest points in the plaster skin, breaking out at these points in random configurations.” The work is astonishing.

Like many artists working on the international scene, Silver oscillates between the solitude and comfort of the studio (“I am committed to the somewhat traditional idea of studio... Subscribe to read this article in full

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