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Alumni in the ANU Art Collection: Trish Roan

Alumni students and staff from the ANU School of Art and Design are numerously represented in the collection through purchases, generous donations by artists and patrons and through the School of Art and Design’s Emerging Artists Support Scheme. In this series of posts we continue to introduce alumni artists and their works in the collection, and give a brief insight into their lives and art practices.

Trish Roan exhibited in the 2016 Drill Hall exhibition Repurpose curated by Tony Oates. She majored in the Glass Workshop at ANU SOAD, graduating in 2006. Her practice encompasses many mediums, including photography and found objects, through which she poignantly observes and redefines fleeting and overlooked details in everyday life. Her work Star map, 2009 was purchased for the ANU Art Collection in 2016. We asked Trish to tell us a little about this work and her practice today:

This is just a small moment that came unexpectedly, I was eating some crackers outside and observed these pinhole images of the sun projected from each puncture of the cracker, made visible within its own shadow.

Focusing an image or tuning a note is like finding a sweet spot, to hold something for a moment which disappears immediately once all those conditions are removed.

I am always interested in the idea of the vast and unknowable, and the constant possibility that these moments of encounter exist within the tiniest of things. Sometimes it’s just an expansion of thought – a moment of realisation, or clarity, or contact with the profound. Actually, all of this is just longing for the possibility of connection. These moments may be transformative, they are also transitional by nature. They are able to be accessed, but not sustained; touched but not held.

I studied at the ANU Glass Workshop, graduating in 2006. I also did a residency in the Glass Workshop in 2013 as part the Stephen Procter Fellowship. I work primarily in mixed-media sculpture, installation and occasionally video, depending on the situation. Though as a student of glass I will always have some kind of connection to the medium. I love its materiality and learning its craft, which is a slow and uncomfortable and loving process with no end. It requires spending hours and years with a material and a process and shared knowledge, and that changes you. My time with glass has deeply shaped how I look at things, regardless of what form my work takes.

A lot of my work stems from the act of noticing and wanting to facilitate that. It has taken a while for me to understand my practice but at some point, all of my work is related to time, scale and relationships. I am currently working on a collaborative project initiated by the Swedish art collective Kultivator (Malin & Mathieu Vrijman), along with artists Signe Johannessen and Erik Roren.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.