Susan Dorothea White
Next-door Neighbours, 2000
carved Huon pine, cedar, fabric, bullet casings, and mixed media
202 x 103 x 98 cm (80" x 41" x 39")
The assemblage is a freestanding 360-degree viewing piece. The two heavy doors are supported in an upright position solely by the diagonal arms with clasping hands. Potential drama is created by the realization that if the neighbours let go then both doors collapse.
The sculpture represents contrast between wealth and poverty, male and female, war and peace. The arms and hands are life-size and took a year for me to carve by hand from a single length of salvaged Huon pine (a rare Australian species). The hands are coloured with paint washes and polished with wax. One door is an antique Australian cedar door that I restored and painted, the other is an old hardwood door from my studio WC. I modified the sleeves from clothing and added the bag, walking stick, and doormat. The bullet casings on the floor are from the actual bullets used to shoot holes through the panelled door.
Susan D White