PETRA SVOBODA: Gokko – Uma (Make Believe Horse)

Ceramic, 500 x 450 x 300mm  $1,900ea

Petra’s practice explores the rising popularity of Anime, Manga (comics), designer toys, and computer games, and how they propel a powerful merchandising machine which generates superfluous amounts of objects often marketed as “collectable”.  The inflatable form is presented as a metaphor for the superficial lightness of commercial merchandising. The transformed inflatable object also situates itself firmly in the realm of illusion and chimera, connecting itself with the fantasy genre of computer games, animation, and film. There is not only an allusion to play throughout the installation, but also a play on the senses through the apparent metamorphosis of the original plastic objects.

In 2009, Petra received and Australian Postgraduate Award and Zelda Stedman Travel Scholarship to embark on an international exchange to Scandinavia. While studying at The National Academy of Arts Oslo, Petra developed her current body of work. Following her 5 month exchange in Norway, Petra went on to do a residency at The international Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark. Here she worked on concepts that related to contemporary notions of play. In 2010 Petra’s Gokko-Rando series (make believe land) was selected to be shown in ‘Sculpture Now!?!’ a survey of contemporary Australian sculpture alongside other artists such as Stelarc and Rod McRae at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Victoria. Petra’s work was also selected for the 2010 Sculpture in the Vineyards exhibition and she was a finalist in the Walker St Gallery Emerging Artist Awards.

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