8 - 12 March 2024

Claire Bridge

Acephelous, 2021 - 2024, single channel video with audio, 3 minute infinite loop video projection onto over 1000 ceramic scales

Site 13: The Stage, Hotel Nicholas, cnr Camp and High St

> Free Artist Talk 10am Saturday 9 March

Artist Statement:

Come. Meet the Oracle.
The Oracle speaks, yet her meaning may seem hidden.
Listen. Can you sense it?

Entering trance, the Oracle reveals her wisdom. She does not give of her secrets easily.

Drink of the cup
Sway
Breathe
Slow

When stillness arises, the words of the Oracle appear, cast upon the waves of your breath,
pulsing to the rhythms of your heart. Listen.

Composed of over one thousand hand-pressed ceramic pieces, woven together with copper wire, Acephalous explores the body as personal, collective, communal, and divine. Hand-pressed, each ceramic scale is imprinted with the artist’s palm. A thousand hands invoke the deities of a thousand arms and innumerable beings contained therein. Ruptured pieces bear wounds, scars, and histories, and in their traced lines, new futures are destined and divined.

Forming a serpentine skin, the body which was torn apart is rewoven, repaired as a communal and collective being. In some Indian, Celtic and European traditions, the severed head holds oracular power, a symbolic seat of the soul and of the divine. Acephalous embodies this oracular potency and symbolism. In a parallel reading Acephalous means “headless state” and considers the possibilities of collective agency and a kaleidoscopic reimagining of contemporary society.

About the Artist:

Claire Bridge works fluidly across sculpture, ceramics, painting, installation and moving image. Her work explores ecological, social, and cultural hybridity interwoven with story and ritual. Drawing on the symbolic languages of her South Asian and Anglo-European traditions, Bridge explores contemporary concerns, rooted in personal narratives and cross-cultural mythologies. Her work has shown in ‘Melbourne Now 2023′ at the National Gallery of Victoria, NGV Australia, and is held in public and private collections including University of Melbourne, Collection of the City of Maroondah, Honorary Consulate of Monaco, across Australia and New Zealand, USA, UK, Europe and in 2024, launching to the Moon.