Anita Larkin observes a strange beauty and a strong rhythm of story within collected objects. In her hands abandoned objects are transformed into evocative sculptures that explore narratives of nomadism, human interaction and miscommunication, and make visible our inner nature.
The sculptures often bring forward, often simultaneously, an element of both the comic and the tragic in our lives, speaking something of the curious absurdity of our human experience. Larkin calls us closer into each work with her acute attention to detail during its making, and displays a wry sense of humour that is engaging for the viewer.
Many of Larkin’s works play with the suggestion of physical movement or a practical function for the hitherto inanimate object. Her poignantly fictitious inventions playfully suggest that objects might have parallel lives, her work Leaping Chair being one excellent example.
Larkin finds wool felt to be an intriguing contemporary sculptural material, with one foot in our ancient nomadic past and one foot in industrial contemporary society. Handmade felt has a long history of use as insulation, for warmth and for sound, and it is these two concepts that she works with most often. Adept at working in many different materials, Larkin’s practice also encompasses direct casting of the human body, replicating the human figure in minute detail in paper, aluminium and in bronze.
Conceptually driven, Larkin’s sculptural works are made using the particular materials and objects that are relevant to the idea being explored.
In 1993 Larkin attained a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. The sculptural possibilities of handmade felt, making assemblages of collected objects, and direct casting of the human body, have been the main focus of her art practice since that time.
Represented by Defiance Gallery in Sydney, Larkin has exhibited her work extensively both internationally and within Australia. She has completed several public art commissions, works on private commissions, teaches sculpture and feltmaking, and regularly assists in the curating and organization of exhibitions.
Solo exhibition highlights include: Bodily Felt Project Contemporary Artspace1997, Object Incognito Wollongong City Gallery 2007, Defiance Gallery 2009, Leaping chair Wollongong City Gallery 2011, The Improbable Object Defiance Gallery 2012, Wunderkammer Studio 19 2013, The Breath Within Defiance Gallery 2015
Group exhibition highlights include; The Wynne Prize, Sculpture by the Sea, The Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize, The UWS Acquisitive Sculpture Award, The 2nd Tamworth Textile Triennial, The Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, The Blake Prize, The International World Textile Art Biennial of Contemporary Art, Sculptural Felt International, The Beijing International Art Biennale.
Collection highlights include: The Lady Ethel Nock Sculpture Collection, Wollongong City Council, Shellharbour City Council, Macquarie University Sculpture Park, Westmead Hospital, Wollongong City Gallery, The University of Wollongong and The Australian War Memorial Art Collection.