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"Rocks holding up #2 and #4" 2019

Wall text

Wall text

Simone Slee
Born 1965, Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagik Country/Horsham, Vic.

Lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne, Vic.

Pronouns: she/her


"Rocks holding up #2" 2019


Coragulac black scoria rock and glass

Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2019.

"Rocks holding up #4" 2019

red scoria rock and glass 

Collection of The University of Queensland, purchased 2019. 

Through a feminist rethinking of modernist sculptural traditions, Simone Slee serves as a playful collaborator alongside the materials that shape her practice. In these sculptural forms, the hard texture of volcanic rock is paired with the oozing fragility of blown glass, pushed gently into one another by the forces of gravity, weight and duration. Each material asserts its agency in a performance of physical interdependence. In these forms, the artist celebrates the vibrancy and thing-power of non-human materials.


The sculptural bodies are held in a constant state of becoming: the rocks, once magma, are now solid; the glass, once sand, is now liquid. The materials are in eternal flux, morphing slowly over timescales that outlive humans. Slee engages in a choreographed dance with the rocks and glass, inviting us to witness and be part of a small chapter in their mineral lives. 


Slee’s artworks highlight Jane Bennett’s atomistic understanding of agency that she writes about in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, whereby material agents, no matter how small they are, are dependent on the “collaboration, cooperation, or interactive interference of many bodies and forces” (2010, 21).


Audio text to come soon

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