Nerine Martini


This work continues my interest in the use of paper as a sculptural material. The wings are created from layers of hands cast in paper. Suspended above the viewer, they are suggestive of angels or spirits, carrying religious or magical overtones. Created from humble material Applause is suggestive of the impermanence of life.

Her installation Applause moves us well and truly into the territory of grief – the fragility of her materials is palpable as these wings of pressed paper hands ascend in silent applause celebrating a life which has ended. This work commemorates a life, and at the same time celebrates Life. Again Martini selects and combines her motifs with Haiku-like precision. The wings invoke angels adorning nineteenth century stone memorials and the hands, in this case, conjure the hands that have cared for the deceased in the final weeks of life. Unlike its stone predecessors, this work is not destined to suffer the same fate – it will not moulder neglected in a graveyard for centuries after its appearance. Its temporary manifestation and ephemeral nature will paradoxically ensure its meaningful survival – it will burn itself into the memory to last long after its disappearance from sight.

This is an extract from the catalogue essay written by Elin Howe 2012

Applause was exhibited as part of the Traces exhibition at the Incinerator Art Space in Willoughby 2012 and was a finalist for Hidden: Rookwood Cemetery Sculpture Walk 2012, installed in the Palm house.

Applause is dedicated to Katthy Cavaliere 11.11.1972 - 23.1.2012