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© 2017 Alice Maher Woodblock
Alice Maher Vox Materia
7 September – 24 November 2018
Modern Galleries & Screening Room



Vox Materia comprises a multi-part installation of sculpture and works on paper. Stemming from Maher’s consideration of a 12th Century mermaid carving, this show meditates on voice and silence. The mermaid is a hybrid creature that transgresses boundaries between human and animal, and is often associated with traumatic loss of voice.

Maher deploys the mermaid not as a motif, but as an ambiguous and powerful conceptual tool to explore ideas of language, embodiment, agency, and autonomy.

The artist begins by adopting and documenting contorted postures; creating strained silhouettes that gesture towards a language of the body in extremisVox Materiaexploits the tactile, contingent qualities of woodcut and watercolour to articulate amoebic, inter-elementary forms while hand-held sculptural forms create new material and corporeal vocabularies

This new work is presented alongside Cassandra’s Necklace (2012), Maher’s first live-action film, in which the mythical protagonist wanders an arid, glittering landscape in search of her voice, literally a necklace of unspeaking tongues.

Both bodies of work demonstrate Maher’s ongoing exploration of the burdens of silence and silencing in her recent practice.

Vox Materia
 is curated by Pluck Projects.