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Sallie Portnoy - Artist From Australia

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Sallie Portnoy australian artist

Sallie Portnoy australian artist

Sallie Portnoy australian artist

Media - Sculpture
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Much of Portnoy's imagery is based in mythology and inspired by mystical stories and abstract thought. The figure in her glass pieces has been used as a universal symbol of the vessel, the soul, and is a symbiosis of the female form and the artistic investigation of positive and negative space. Where once Portnoy was predominantly a vessel maker, (both glass and ceramic) her work since 1995 has become sculptural, narrative and abstracted. The figures speak with light, movement and simple sensuality. They are about female empowerment and empowerment of humankind at large.

Like the Sword in the Stone, the sword-like figures are plunged into their bases - grounded and earthbound, while their elegant forms reach up to the heavens - to a higher ground. The pieces are at once both male and female; at 'base' extremely sexual and reflective of the basic nature of mankind. Pulling the sword out of the stone, in terms of sexual symbolism, can be interpreted as freeing the male conscious ego (the phallus) from the state of being mother bound. The figures speak of the conflict between opposing forces within us, between archaic impulses and new aspirations.

In Portnoy's most recent exhibition" Metamorfishes," (Manly Regional Gallery & Museum, Sydney, Aug 2002) we see the beginnings of a transformation. Portnoy is redefining the line while abstracting the form. Fish are emerging from some of the se forms, often tongue in cheek, as she makes fun of the process of change and transformation. As symbols themselves are products of emotion and intuition, so fish can be symbolic of the world of symbols, in contrast with a purely materialistic earthbound approach to life. Fish are the treasures from the waters, which in general symbolise the psyche in contrast with the body: the unconscious rather than the ordinary conscious.

In" Metamorphosis 1 and 2 " the forms are no longer figures or fish but capture the movement and sensuality of both. There is a metamorphosis going on within Portnoy's work which is clearly captured in these pieces. From the heavy rounded bases the forms emerge, slightly undefined and robust, to redefine themselves into fine lines and sharp edges as they lift upwards to let in the light.

As much as Portnoy's work is narrative and a study of form, it is also very much an exploration of light. The glass plays with the light as it changes from thick to thin, as it absorbs and reflects the light, and as different colours mix when they are melted together.

Portnoy gives the glass body language and uses forms to reflect this, which is why most pieces can stand alone or in communication with one another. And although these forms are undergoing a transformation, Portnoy continues to tap into the universal language that binds us all through her use of material, form, light, and colour. | Contact Us | List Your Art | List Your Art Gallery | Site Map

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