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Variable Depth, Shallow Water
Izabela Pluta is a Polish-born, Australian-based artist, who uses photography to interpret and re-conceptualise the role performed by images today.
Visiting the recently-fallen sea stack Dwerja, also known as The Azure Window, on the island of Gozo, Pluta was captivated by what was one of the world’s most spectacular expressions of geological time. Dwejra, an underwater debris of limestone rock – originally 28-metres tall – now lies about 12 meters below sea level.
Drawing on the reflexivity of the photographic medium, Pluta uses images, video, objects and sound as the foundation for this new exhibition, ‘Variable depth, shallow water’. The installation’s key material includes corrupted data filmed using a drone lost at sea and subsequently retrieved. Inspired by Dwerja, the concept of deep time, the instantaneous moment of change, and informed by her own passage as a migrant to Australia, the work investigates the uncertainty of location.
‘Variable depth, shallow water’ brings together disparate elements comprising handmade contact negatives of unhinged atlases, faux-artefacts cast in bronze from the depths of where the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea meet, footage from the vast Australian landscape, and neon components that implode in on themselves. This is the first time the artist has exhibited in Malta.
Izabela Pluta is represented by Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney. This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and supported by a UNSW Art & Design Faculty Research Grant.
Nicole Bearman, Francesca Mangion