Australian artist Sally Smart is known for her large-scale collage installations applied directly to the gallery wall. She works with a range of media, including painted felt cut-outs, painted canvas, photographic elements, and printed fabric. The pins and joins that connect her work remain exposed to the viewer, emphasizing the performative process Smart undergoes in the collection, cutting, drawing, assembly, and installation of her work. The complexity and detail of each formal element engage the viewer in a search for recognizable elements and meaning.
Postmasters in New York is currently showing three of Smart’s collage cut-out works in Decoy Nest, also the title of the show’s centerpiece. Decoy Nest, seen above, occupies the main gallery wall, sprawling from floor to ceiling at a monumental 15×33 feet. The decoy nest is a strategy that birds use to deflect attention from their eggs. Smart says thinking about this idea led her to “draw connections to [her] art practice, in the strategies [she] used in conveying and creating meaning.” Decoy Nest is accompanied by two other collage cut-outs, Twilight Tree and Phantom (limb) Tree.
Smart currently lives and works in Melbourne. She received her M.F.A. from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne and has exhibited widely in Australia and around the world. Decoy Nest will remain at Postmasters until October 11, 2008.