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Vicki Mason: Vignettes from a suburban front yard

Exhibition  /  20 Jun 2013  -  27 Jul 2013
Published: 18.06.2013
Vicki Mason. Brooch: Standard Rose (red), 2013. Powder coated brass, cotton. 7 x 4.5 x 1.3 cm. Photographer: Andrew Barcham. Vicki Mason
Brooch: Standard Rose (red), 2013
Powder coated brass, cotton
7 x 4.5 x 1.3 cm
Photographer: Andrew Barcham
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Intro
Vicki Mason’s new exhibition uses suburban landscape and plants to trace the history, status and social aspirations of a Melbourne suburb, that are then depicted in her jewellery representations.

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Vicki Mason
Vicki Mason’s new exhibition, Vignettes from a suburban front yard, uses suburban landscape and plants to trace the history, status and social aspirations of a Melbourne suburb, that are then writ large in contemporary jewellery.

Vignettes from a suburban front yard documents and explores ordinary Australian suburban front yards and the plants that inhabit them. Mason observes the plants used in her own neighbourhood to inform us how we deal with nature in an urban milieu. In reading the plants that populate the front gardens of south east Melbourne, Mason tells us not only who we are now but who we were, reflecting the constant cycle of fashion as it relates to plants and garden styles.

Suburban front gardens engage with the public space of the outside world as well as the houses they front, and we all enjoy (or not) others’ front gardens/plants on a street. The plants we choose to grow reflect values that are sometimes traditional and conformist while at other times totally idiosyncratic. Her work, ‘The cheerful pomegranate’ for example, documents her interaction with a local who wrapped plastic flowers around the bare leafless stems of her pomegranate plant one winter – to cheer the garden up.

Mason’s overarching interest is in our ongoing desire for the suburban ideal of the rural idyll. This ideal comes about as the result of thinking about space availability derived from an earlier period in Australia’s history, and Mason suggests this needs critical appraisal. Reviewing the role that suburban gardens play in a city which continues to sprawl is perhaps timely and necessary.
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