Mikala Dwyer (*1959 Sydney) uses plastic, Styrofoam, fabric and modeling clay to challenge conventional notions of materiality and interior space. Although largely unknown outside Australia, her works are comic, loosely constructed offshoots of the sculptural ideas of Eva Hesse--in the vein of U.S. contemporaries Jessica Stockholder, Sarah Sze and Terri Friedman. Dwyer has developed a playful signature style with funky installations and sculptures.
As one writer has observed, "It's hard not to enjoy Mikala Dwyer's work - you can't help but grin at the joyous and uninhibited antics of these bits and pieces of urban humdrum abducted from their commonplace duties and let loose on a world as free from prosaic regulations and as animated with adventure as the land of Oz".
Dwyer has made installations from a seeming jumble of materials: coloured pantyhose, cigarette butts, bandaids, all manner of fabrics, plants, furniture, and domestic objects, to name a few. These "seriously playful installations", as they have been described, immerse the viewer in mini-worlds which investigate space, emotion and imagination.
In her exhibition "Black Sun Blue Moon" at Hamish Morrison Galerie Mikala Dwyer presented a hanging garden with more than a hundred free-floating plants. The plants floated in their micro-biospheres made of transparent plastis like planets in the cosmos of the gallery. The garden invites the viewer to wander through the installation, to think and even smoke: ashtrays are integrated in some of the plastic containers, because, says Mikala Dwyer: "It´s a fucked-up garden."
A circle of small sculptures, human, animal and mythological figurations grouped into a travesty of a shamanistic meeting were also part of the exhibition "Black Sun Blue Moon". These creatures are inhabitants of "Spielwiese", a village of crystalline architectural models made from plywood. These developped out of play, without planning, but directly from haptic and energetic handling of material.