Linde Ivimey

Meeting Linde Ivimey at her Sydney studio means confronting “a charm bracelet of [her] life”. On the stairs is Obsessive bitch (1992) a wall-mounted sculpture featuring a rangy dog curled up beside a pile of sticks. There are busts from art school days, bones reconstructed into enigmatic figures, maternal gestures and babies. There are recurring motifs in the figures – many bunnies, owls, Siamese twins, animals. Amongst the creatures that line her shelves is a wooden drawer housing twin skeletons, each less than new born size. Every object, effigy or reliquary transmits a sense that it is from a place deep within – the body or psyche.

The creatures/children which line the shelves in her studio have a simmering intensity – they are invested with elements of Ivimey’s life – bones from meals she has cooked, in turn from animals she has butchered, hair she has waxed, teeth she has been gifted. Materials used are highly personal to her.

Nearby are the raw materials – neatly organised containers, boxes, shelves of bones – knuckles, forearms, the different elements that make up a chicken’s neck – and teeth, eggshells, gems, fabrics. Every element of her life – from the lint detritus out of the washing machine and dryer, to her most painful personal memories – is stowed into and affects the work.

Ivimey’s sculpture has generated intense interest amongst audiences and her work has been acquired by public institutions including the National Gallery of Australia and National Gallery of Victoria, as well as by important private collections in Australia and New Zealand. A major exhibition drawn from twenty years of work, Close to the bone: Linde Ivimey was shown at Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2003 and in 2012, the University of Queensland Art Museum mounted the solo exhibition, If Pain Persists, accompanied by a major monograph on the artist written by Louise Martin-Chew.

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