Susan Jacobs, Cope (Tree), Buxton Contemporary, The University of Melbourne, Australia, 2022. Courtesy of Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne. Photo Christian Capurro
Susan Jacobs / The Ants Are in the Idiom
Jun 3 – Nov 6, 2022
Buxton Contemporary
Melbourne, Australia

The ants are in the idiom is a presentation of newly commissioned work by Australian-born, London-based artist Susan Jacobs. A meditation on the relationship between language and matter, the exhibition is an expansive sculptural environment that draws the viewer into a web of visual riddles.

Jacobs’ poetic approach to materials is underpinned by research into systems of thought that have shaped – and mis-shaped – human knowledge. Playful allusions to science, psychology and mythology jostle with visual puns and word games. Enlivened by the imaginative potential of misinterpretation, the exhibition is a rhizomatic sculptural network that stimulates a process of associative looking in the viewer.

The artist has developed this work over several years, experimenting with materials in her studio to articulate a sculptural language informed by cumulative layers of environmental observation and historical research. The ants are in the idiom could be read as an allegory for a way of working as an artist or, on a more universal level, for the human drive to make meaning of our surroundings.

The development of this exhibition was supported by an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship.

Curated by Jacqueline Doughty.

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