Made of Holes: A monumental sculpture by Lucy Irvine


19 January 2018

Lucy Irvine has dedicated her creative life to realising the artistic potential of the most humble of modern elements: the black plastic cable tie. Her work keeps growing. The recent work Made of Holes demonstrates the architectonic potential of this binding device when turned on itself. 


Made of Holes is a 7-metre long woven sculpture, made from irrigation piping and cable ties, woven over a minimal welded steel armature. This work pushes the materials and techniques that Lucy has been exploring for over a decade. Over time, she has moved from making small-scale objects to large-scale installations. Focusing on works that address their site, activate space and encourage the viewer to move within and around them. A consistent aim has been to transform our experience of the formal qualities of utilitarian materials. Combining the industrial with the handmade to reconsider the things and the systems that make up the fabric of our lives.

As the sculptures have become increasingly complex, the weaving has become a process of emergent form finding and knowledge making. Whilst the steel armature dictates the overall proportions of each piece, the form itself emerges from the weaving. Each cable tie stitch marks an alignment of piping: a small incremental decision that accumulates the dynamic whole.

First exhibited as part of Hobart’s Dark Mofo in 2016, Made of Holes comprises as part of Lucy’s current practice-led PhD at ANU. The work is an exploration of how we further our knowledge. In the journey of making and arriving at the final form, the work grapples with how we approach the things we do not know or are yet unknown. The unknown: how do we engage with it, move through it, trust it even? How do we deal with the holes in our own knowledge? Weaving in this context is the realisation of complex spatial interrelations that do not adhere to a predetermined design.

Installed in the Incinerator Atrium, this work sparks a dialogue with the buildings industrial past and probes the gallery space.

Made of Holes by Lucy Irvine can be seen at Incinerator Gallery, 20th January- 18th March 2018, 180 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds. 

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