5 – 26 July, 2014

Eye’ve been accumulating and modifying hand-made and pre-loved goods for my exhibition Frozen Home. Frozen Home becomes a point where unsystematic methods of collecting meet with processes of binding, tearing and other collage-like strategies.

When modifying objects eye like to accentuate various conditions of control and amorous gesture, and eye understand these works to articulate my desire to represent ‘things’ as they are, and a need to draw geometric and allegorical content from them. Caught-up in these processes, eye see myself scrambling classification and valuation systems, particularly those residing from domestic realms.

Eye also try to allow objects to attain a process of curiosity, one of looking beyond, through, or seeing out of something, But eye also get caught up in spaces where there is a tendency to blend, disguise and cover-up. These processes articulate my preoccupation with boundaries and their collapse and where my aim to disconcert is stronger than to satisfy.

Erika Scott [2014]

Grunge is [not] Dead, or 3D Representations of Ectoplasm are Always the Answer
(A pre-amble to Frozen Home by Erika Scott)

What do I know about Erika Scott and her work from my own limited but direct experience?

To start with I am sure she lives in Brisbane and is originally from Rockhampton.

Erika is very serious about what she does and the work of other artists she is in to. This is evidenced by her curatorial efforts for her exhibition Episodes (2012), her organisational role at Brisbane artist run projects Accidentally Annie Street Space and its Offsite appendages and collaborative works Hairy Legs (2014) with Brooke Ferguson.

Erika is interested in animals, fish, aquariums, collage and old horror movies on VHS tape.

Erika also likes the chaotic, macabre, grimy underside of existence, as evidenced by many of the objects she collects, modifies, makes and exhibits. One important example of this type of object is the rock hard red undies that appeared in her recent exhibition, No Wonder at Metro Arts, 2013.

Initially for me there is nostalgia about my appreciation of Erika’s work. This is because I made art and ran a gallery in Sydney in the 1990’s, and was steeped in a cultural phenomenon, conveniently and somewhat inelegantly referred to as Grunge.  Sydney Grunge was coincidentally like Erika’s work but emotionally and intentionally quite different, so I mistrust the connection my mind wants to make. Many artists in this Sydney scene made work out of crap, with an economic wink to Dada and other formal and anti-formal art practices. When I say I don’t trust this comparison, I mean I am suspicious about being drawn to something merely because it appears familiar to me, simply affirms a position that already existed, and serves only to validate my understanding of Grunge as a reoccurring historical and cultural inevitability.

Continuing this idea of the familiar, Erika’s installations and discrete works are often made from leftover material, dark matter many of us might refer to as crap, or if it makes you more comfortable, detritus. Her compositions are not deliberately self-referential as say Piero Manzoni’s crap in a can in 1961, or Hany’s poo man in Primavera of 1992. However, Erika does make her own references to menstrual blood and bodily secretions. The distinction I would make here is rather than make her the subject of the work, these references to existence and bodily presence, this ectoplasm, evokes a common residual or shared experience of domestic spaces and their life cycles.

Apart from the way Erika cares about decay and personal entropy, I think one of the things this work confronts and resists is an idea of finishing things. In contemporary life as determined by the hegemony of a decomposing industrial capitalism, there is a strange obsession with maintenance and finishing things; renovations, PHD’s, lunch, art, work and political and economic ideologies. We are obsessed with the resurrection and the reincarnation of stuff. Think of those renovation shows where an empty head and appalling behaviour are rewarded with a tidy bathroom, or the one with the two idiots riding around in a van, picking through the leftovers of countless anonymous lives.

What’s refreshing about Erika’s take on the OCD of domesticity, is that it responds and acknowledges what this obsession exists to deny. The truth of the universe is endless entropy, manifest by movement, change, growth and decay. What is funny and deeply satisfying about Erika’s compositions of this ectoplasmic and entropic matter is she challenges this denial, our desire to ignore the rich aberrant beauty of the universe, preferring the banality of a renovated toilet cubicle. Unfortunately for us and fortunately for Erika, a big part of being human is ignoring truth in order to cope with the overwhelming complexity of the universe.

David M Thomas [2014]

ERIKA SCOTT completed an Honours degree in Fine Art at the Queensland University of Technology and was a founding director of the Artist Run Initiative Accidentally Annie St Space in Brisbane. In 2011 she was local artist in Residence at Level Gallery and in 2012 participated in the ‘mazda121residency’. Scott has exhibited at Artist Run Initiatives Bus Projects and Screen Space in Melbourne and Boxcopy in Brisbane.

THE WALLS acknowledges the YUGAMBEH people, the traditional owners of the land on which we operate, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on the Gold Coast today.

THE WALLS is supported by the City of Gold Coast through the Accelerate Triennial Grant Program.



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