The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide SA 5000 [View map]

Caroline Durré

Caroline Durré

Armed Space with Ornament 2012

Fluoro acrylic on wall 2.7m x 3m. With assistance from Julie Walker.

Artist’s Synopsis

In this wall painting I play with fictive space, optical experience, intricacy and excess.

The regularities of geometry and symmetry can mysteriously give rise to spatial and visual disorientation. I aim to create a zone of optical seduction and psychological entrapment, using geometry to generate complexity, and symmetry to create visual vibration. The resulting ‘anxious space’ is both lyrical and confronting.

I am also fascinated by the way that ornamental detail, originally derived from the observation of organic form, can interplay with the austere geometries of architecture. This question has occupied artists and designers across cultures and through the ages. My image steps in to this tradition, manipulating motifs drawn from sources such as the Baroque garden with its vegetative arabesques, and combining these with the geometry of historical bastionated fortifications and the techniques of anamorphic perspective.

These points of reference are linked in that they each manipulate the perception of space in order to entice and disorient the viewer. They underline the dependability of sensory perception, even as they exploit to the full the technologies of spatial control.

I have reconfigured my sources using symmetry, repetition and distortion in order to make secretive, armoured enclosures that invite exploration yet forbid entry. I aim to achieve a vision of distorted space that can relate to the body of the viewer and the scale of the building, and can mediate between these.

Artist’s Biography

Caroline Durré is a Melbourne artist who has held fourteen solo shows incorporating painting, drawing, printmaking and wall painting, in Melbourne and Sydney, most recently at the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria. Her interests as an artist centre on the representation of fictive space, optical experience, symmetry and ornament. She has participated in numerous group shows including the Aomori International Print Triennale in Japan, Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award, and Footprint International Print Biennale in Connecticut USA.

In 1994 she went to Antarctica as artist in residence on an Australian Antarctic Division Arts Fellowship. In 2003 she was resident at the Cité des Arts in Paris for three months, pursuing research into the history of the formal garden. In 2006 she won the Swan Hill Regional Gallery Print and Drawing Acquisitive Award for her drawing Hortus (in)conclusus (convex). Her works are held in national, state and regional galleries, and corporate and private collections.

She completed her PhD entitled Post-Op: on the experience and representation of paradoxical space in 2008. She is also a writer who has published catalogue essays and art criticism, with a particular interest in the relationship between art and science. As a lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University, she concentrates on the supervision of graduate students in MFA and PhD degrees. Her website is

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