This installation is part of The Identification - a series of works by Auckland based artist Nancy de Freitas.
Each of the works in The Identification deals with concepts of violation and censure. For this installation, de Freitas is concerned with images and icons of violence as they confront her in her capacity as artist, mother and daughter. The accounts of atrocities coming from Europe and elsewhere in the last few years have provided a continuation and development of her subject material for the installation. These reports of violation fall within the broader issue of male violence and power which de Freitas has previously explored in her work.
De Freitas is concerned with creating a sensory environment using elements of sound, light and structure. The installation explores the contradiction between beauty and threat, as is demonstrated in the choice of materials: broken glass provides the structural element, with its beauty in direct contrast to its hazards and dangers. Three lifesize shattered glass figures stand in a bed of sand. These male figures literally embody danger, beauty and fragility.
The aural element is compiled from fragments of news reports relating to contemporary violence and is composed around a human heartbeat. This audio material is used to envelope the gallery space, offsetting and disrupting the usual peace of a gallery environment. The audio content is arranged by Gordon Baird.
The gallery lighting is reduced with the walls painted black, creating a vestibule - a place of communication to others.
Nancy de Freitas gained her artistic training in Canada and in New Zealand. She has held various Art Administration and Teaching positions, including Administrator of The Pakuranga Arts Society in 1978. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Auckland Institute of Technology.
→ From Earth to Heaven, New Zealand Herald, 17-11-1994
→ Implosion of war into Nancy's art, Eastern Courier, 09-11-1994