mh logoDiving board

Diving board 1998

At the gallery

Maree Horner is an artist who lives in Kaponga. When she was an art student in the early 70s, she studied under innovative sculpture lecturuer Jim Allen at Auckland University. Diving board is one of the works she made at that time. It has been reconstructed for the exhibition Action Replay which looks at 70s "post object" art.
Unlike its poolside equivalent, this diving board is especially dangerous and confusing to the viewer.The board is mounted on three tall steps, and projects over the floor and not over the "pool", which is a hollow glass reversal of the steps.There is no water, and the "pool" is sharp, shallow and fragile.
Furthermore the diving board will tip over if stepped on, because what appears to be solid concrete steps is in fact a hollow shell.
However, despite its subtle menace the work is elegant and alarmingly inviting. It has a minimalist sensibility in its use of very simple forms, and a teasing mental engagement with the thought processes  of its audience.

The Daily News
Tuesday, December 1, 1998

diving board 1diving board 2diving board 3

Diving board is primarily a visual statement that the spectator can confront and relate to in a direct physical sense, board to chest, and empty tank to groin. The 4'6" high concrete steps and the glass tank are linked across the space by the cantilevered hessian-covered board. The chest-neck board height gives the feeling of just about being out of one's depth; taking a decisive step and going by the board. The board erotically projects outwards just missing the tank. The glass tank is an obvious back-flipped reflection of the solid concrete steps. It also thrusts upwards and outwards then stops erect, on clean-cut stainless steel legs at thigh height. With cold formality three graduations of sand blasting matter-of-factly imply different water levels. (CM)

Its literal existence evokes the preconceptions of the viewer about the object. I was interested in upsetting the preceiver by the strange scale, dryland format and the physical tensions of the materials against the implied activity around the image.


From
new art
Some recent NZ sculpture and post-object art
edited by Jim Allen & Wystan Curnow
Pbl Heinemann (1976)

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