These especially collected pieces of firewood are presented here for the first time, from a private collection in Nelson.
The collection has built up over a number of years, with each log being chosen based on their intuitive relationships to seminal works of art. These have been sourced from wintertime firewood stacks, with the pieces of firewood being ‘saved’ from the fire as it is built, due to their resemblance to an artwork.
This intuitive response is based on the ‘outsider art’ idea – that a piece of wood can have a hidden work within it, which the outsider artist visualises when finding it, and is thus inspired to make the finished work.
The Hidden reverses the outsider art idea (of the hidden waiting to be exposed). Rather than the artwork being hidden in the wood and being revealed by the artist, the wood is displayed in its raw form which already resembles a work of art – thereby relying instead on the viewer’s imagination to reveal the artwork within it.
Douglas Kelaher is a Nelson-based technician. He has worked with both public and private collections around the country and is privileged to be working closely with the collector on the presentation of these personally significant objects. Douglas’ work ethos is ‘discretion is the better part of technicianing’.
Work: The Hidden (2020), multimedia installation.