by Ariadna Zierold
Australian artist Alan Constable is both a painter and a ceramicist. His ceramic works reflect a life-long fascination with old cameras, which began with his making replicas from cardboard cereal boxes at the age of eight. The sculptures are lyrical interpretations of technical instruments, and the artist’s finger marks can be seen clearly on the clay surface like traces of humanity. In this way, Constable’s cameras can be viewed as extensions of the body, as much as sculptural representations of an object.
It may come as a surprise to people unfamiliar with Alan’s story to learn that he is legally blind (with limited tunnel-vision); and also deaf, which makes his world all the more internal and contained. As observers we can only project our own perspectives onto Alan’s work, but one could speculate that his physical challenges have defined his extraordinary artistic abilities.
Alan’s cameras emphasised the handmade, intensifying and celebrating the imperfections associated with the human touch. None are perfect, nor exactly to scale, but it was exactly these qualities that resonated with and engaged audiences.