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The hand of an armless statue

The hand of an armless statue

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Author: Grace Wood. Publisher: M.33, 2022. ISBN: 9780648258841. Format: Softback, 265 x 195 mm, 94p. 

The hand of an armless statue features 55 newly created artworks and continues Grace Wood’s compulsive practice of mining the internet for images, recontextualising them and giving them new meaning. Wood throws images and words into search engines and what is spat out is collected, altered and repurposed – the process itself speaks of the paradox of connectivity afforded by the internet, where isolated images can be at once linked by a hashtag or the embedded text of their uploader. The collaged images in the book trace accidental similarities between instantly recognizable artworks, their legacies, their makers, and consumers. It looks at the way an easily discernible artwork can be repurposed and commercialised.

The hand of an armless statue utilises these recycled artworks: a tote bag with a picture of the Girl with a Pearl Earring on it, a paint-by-numbers of Van Gogh’s Iris painting, an arm tattooed with Matisse’s Dancers. Fragments from such paintings become sprawling, incomplete narratives — seductive historical clutter assembled for the viewer’s consumption. The book features an accompanying essay by Kiron Robinson, artist and lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne within the Photography studio.