The Rose has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast: A solo presentation by Teelah George
The Rose has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast, can be read as a “…a poetic and romantic description of a process of abstraction” explains George.
George’s take is based on the phrases original meaning (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953), but in addition, this can be considered in relation to the phrases application before arriving here: from a passage in a philosophical text, to an album of experimental electronic music (Matmos, 2006), to the title of a contemporary art exhibition. The results of each iterative ‘borrow’ look nothing like the reference material yet it has a meaningful origin which has impacted each creative outcome.
Of course George’s work follows suit; Green velvet case for unknowable objects traces the indentations of an object, memorialising them in emerald. Other works consider the structure of a flower, the bruising of trodden, fleshy petals on the pavement, and the shifting blue hues across the Melbourne sky. George’s source materials are often elusive to the viewer, perhaps equally elusive as the passage of time that George’s works embody and exalt. Watching things change before your eyes is a bold path to stare down.
The Rose has Teeth in the Mouth of the Beast is a romantic body of work replete with roses, thorns and scars. Comprising just seven works (three large and four small), each consists of a hand-embroidered linen surface with a stalwart cast bronze frame, pitted with the artist's finger marks from the original wax model. The lavish application of texture from the artist's hand feels decadent and rich, as does the palette; the rusty hue of Rose, the murkiness of Deep pond and the dirty cream of Cloth.