For Monoform: Manifold Salt has created mesmerising transparent structures using readily available industrial materials, often wire mesh, and undulating ink drawings to explore notions of form and space.
Drawn, folded and woven into intricate shapes and patterns, Salt’s constructions hang suspended from the ceiling, stand upright on the floor or sit neatly on plinths, encouraging viewers to engage with the spaces they have created. When viewed from different angles, manifold patterns and forms emerge, objects can be viewed through other objects and a number of perspectives can be seen, much like the origami and holograms Salt loved as a child.
‘Interacting with her work sees forms dissolve and re-form, lines explode into chaotic pattern, the solid melt into the formless, outside conflate with inside.’ * Consciously blurring juxtaposed elements – walls are malleable, pillars transparent and boundaries flexible – Salt toys with our expectations, subtly repositioning the way we know a space. Shifting interior and exterior, positive and negative, seen and unseen spaces, she challenges our assumptions, calling into question how we engage with the spaces we occupy.
‘I’m looking at how lines lead to shape, how shapes lead to form, and how forms create a space, exploring how they intertwine to become a unified whole. I use the term ‘monoform’ to describe the interaction those singular elements have when they are experienced together visually. I’m continually looking at architecture, especially at what happens when the exteriors and interiors of a building merge together.’ (Britt Salt)
Salt begins each work with a line, pushing and cajoling that initial mark, carefully shifting it from its comfort zone to construct works replete with tension and complexity. ‘....whereas a line is commonly understood to indicate the edge or border separating two planes, for Salt it becomes a tool for the transgression of such borders – a line that she delights in crossing.....’ *
At only 23, Salt was a finalist in the Bankwest Contemporary Art Award 2006, a selected entrant in the ABN Amro Emerging Art Award and named as one of Australia’s Most Collectible artists by Australian Art Collector magazine. She was awarded a grant by the Department of Culture and Arts, WA, which funded this exhibition.
*Andrew Nicholls ‘Overlap and Intersect’ catalogue essay, 2007