“Eady has always and continues to makes strong claims for an object-based sculptural practice, while undercutting some of its associations and forms. As a maker of objects that interrogate and confound the nature and value of objects, it’s not surprising that his recent work has taken on a greater participatory dimension. Yet object-ness is never compromised. These projects work outwards from the object to claim that complex space shared with the audience that is now often considered the domain of installation. Eady exploits the promise of interactivity and participation to extend an object and studio-based sculptural practice.”[i]
Scott Eady has, for the last decade, been making large-scale sculptural works with sardonic wit. He is concerned with the making of disruptive and troublesome sculpture that interrogates and confounds expectations of the medium.With a practice that increasingly emphasises making and encounter, Eady’s work explores sculpture’s ongoing negotiation with its own histories, its contested place in the public realm and gallery spaces, and teases out its often tense relationship with audiences.
Themes in Eady’s practice are changing notions of masculinity and challenging the New Zealand male stereotype. Eady addresses that “being a man’s man seems tougher in the dimensions of recent pop culture, where standards of masculinity have eroded with metrosexual acceptance and encouragement, while extreme chauvinist showmanship has been increasingly discouraged. [His] jovial and tongue-in-cheek sculptures twist these contemporary narratives into objects that caricaturise both extreme and effeminate notions of manhood.”[ii] Conversely, Eady’s work also considers his dual role as a father and artist; at the heart of many of his projects is the experience of childhood. Negotiating these themes, Eady produces sculptures which are playful, witty, insightful and often frustrating; with a sometimes ambiguous element of violence about them.
In Eady’s recent works “there is an increasing emphasis on sculpture as prank … [as he] usurps the power and presence of serious monumental sculptural form to enhance various sight-gags and tricks made at the expense of the audience. … Eady reinvigorates sculptural object-ness through games, tricks, and other acts which operate somewhere in the realm between object, space and audience. The medium’s core values of making, materiality and encounter are constantly reinscibed, while being turned into a game or a joke that undercuts its more heroic or macho tendencies.”[iii]
Born: Auckland, 1972
Education: Master of Fine Arts (1999), Bachelor of Fine Arts (1994); Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland
Collections: Hocken Pictorial Collections, The University of Otago Library, Dunedin; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; The Chartwell Trust, Auckland; The James Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin; Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore; Artetage Museum of Modern Art, Vladivostok, Russia; New Zealand Honorary Consulate, Vladivostok, Russia
Selected Public Exhibitions (solo): Good Morning Vladivostok, Artetage Museum of Modern Art, Vladivostok, Russia, (2016); Undreamed Of… 50 Years of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2016), Ridiculous Sublime, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2016); The Emperor’s New Clothes, Paul Nache Gallery, Gisborne; .M Contemporary, Sydney; Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville (2015); Activating Te Uru: Inaugural Opening Exhibition, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery (2014); IVAN, Personal Structures, Palazzo Bembo, La Biennle, Venezia (2013); 192 Queen St, Auckland Art Fair, The Cloud, Auckland (2013); The Obstinate Object, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, Wellington (2012); 100 Bikes Project: Gwangju,The 9th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012);100 Bikes Project: Part 1,The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt (2011); Scott Eady Survey Exhibition, The James Wallace Arts Trust, Pah Homestead, Auckland, Auckland (2011); Play Off, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2011); Headlands Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, Auckland (2011); Hetro Horror, Dunedin School of Art Gallery, Dunedin (2010); Lost at the Bottom of the World, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua, Whanganui (2010); A Generous Eye (Works from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection), The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt (2008); White on White, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Christchurch (2008); EXISTENCE: life according to art, Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga O Waikato, Waikato (2007); Clean Machine, Gus Fisher Gallery, University of Auckland, Auckland (2007); OFFSIDE, St Paul St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland (2007); The Back Boot Project, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2007); Op Shop, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2006); Summer Daze, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (2006); Scott Eady and Ryan Moore, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2005); Honeymoon on the Pigroot, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (2003); Signs, Hocken Pictorial Collections, The University of Otago Library, Dunedin (2003); Telecom Prospect 2004, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, Wellington (2003); International Art Fair and Cake Stall, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2003); Talking Back, Hocken Pictorial Collections, The University of Otago Library, Dunedin (2003); Wallace Award Travelling Exhibition, (2002); Signs, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2002); Past Presents, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (2001); The Big Bang Theory, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (year); That’s Entertainment, The Physics Room, Christchurch (2000);Let Them Eat Cake, George Fraser Gallery, Auckland (2000); White Kangaroo, with Gregor Kregar, George Fraser Gallery, Auckland (2000); Drive – Power>Progress>Desire, Govett-Brewster Contemporary Art Museum, New Plymouth (2000)
[i]Aaron Lister, “Kick Me; Recent Work by Scott Eady,” Art New Zealand, Autumn 2012, No. 141, pp 46-49
[ii]Young Sun Han, Unlimited: A Year of City Art Rooms, Auckland: Pressprint, 2008, pp 22-25
[iii]Aaron Lister, “Kick Me; Recent Work by Scott Eady,” Art New Zealand, Autumn 2012, No. 141, pp 46-49