Artist: Ali Bramwell

Artist Profile


Ali Bramwell

Because my primary practice is heavily influenced by touch and the material qualities of the different media I use for sculptural installations, my emphasis is always on an embodied experience of tactile and three-dimensional work. I also experiment with the kinds of sensual associations that audiences bring to specific medium.

A material that has a strong New Zealand vernacular is barbed wire. We are used to seeing the wire in stock fences, for most kiwis the first associations to this material would be peaceful… green paddocks and quiet cattle that have not strayed. But barbed wire’s usefulness is based on its ability to puncture and break skin. The ways that I have begun using the wire is to combine this implicitly dangerous material (with the potential to cause a frisson of anxiety, or at least a sympathetic twinge) with gentler more peaceful imagery. This allows me to layer the work with seductive and nostalgic sensuality contrasted against a real possibility of discomfort that prevents the work from becoming cloyed or sentimental.

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