Denese Oates



An exhibition of sculpture by Denese Oates presented by Beaver Galleries, 11 – 29 JUNE 2024

Opening Thursday 13 June 2024

Creeping Weeds 2023, 82 x 48 x 50cm Copper, iron, wood pulp, gypsum cement.

Artist statement for BALANCE at Beaver Galleries June 2024

BALANCE, the Denese Oates 2024 exhibition at Beaver Galleries in the ACT, presents a body of work that has been informed by diverse landscapes encountered during many walks in the Australian countryside. Inspiration for this collection comes from massive boulders, between which resilient weeds frequently emerge. It’s an image that has left an indelible mark on her artistic sensibilities.

Recent walks include the Goldfields Track in Victoria, where magnificent rounded granite boulders punctuate the terrain. She has been equally moved by the enchanting Kimberley region in north-west Australia where the boulders take on box-like forms. Exploring the geological and biological features of these terrains has spurred Denese to capture their essence in her work.

This exhibition reflects the thematic core of Denese’s recent work. To bring this vision to life, she employs mainly copper and gypsum cement as her preferred materials.

Using gypsum cement, she has fabricated imagined boulder shapes that embody the rugged beauty and solidity of the natural formations that served as inspiration. These boulders are then adorned with powdered metal, typically copper or iron, and treated with patinas to achieve an oxidised effect.

Intricate copper weeds are intertwined with these boulders, to seemingly emerge from their very core. These delicate yet hardy botanical forms serve as a metaphor for the tenacity of life, flourishing amidst the strength and grandeur of the boulders.

Throughout the exhibition, you will encounter groupings of these boulders, often stacked in precarious arrangements, evoking a sense of balance and tension. This deliberate composition invites contemplation on the delicate equilibrium between stability and fragility, permanence and transience.

Beaver Galleries

81 Denison Street, Deakin, Canberra, ACT, 2600
(+61 2) 6282 5294