Jack Snow-Viener   <br/>
<em>The Sameshima oysters</em> 2022 <br/>
plaster, wax, steel, oyster shells, resin teeth <br/>
(1) 180 x 80 x 75 cm (2) 215 x 61 x 60 cm (3) 262 x 63 x 80 cm (4) 257 x 65 x 76 cm (5) 331 x 62 x 81 cm (6) 436 x 98 x 80 cm (smallest to tallest)  <br/>
St Michael’s Grammar School, St Kilda       <br/>
© Jack Snow-Viener<br/>

The Sameshima oysters are the physicalised vessel of emotion belonging to the artist’s grandmother navigating homesickness and racism in 1950s Australia. The outer ‘shell’ is emblematic of the tough facade one may erect to defend the vulnerability of one’s authentic self. Further, the steel nails violently defend the teeth submerged in the oyster’s flesh, alluding that the teeth are symbols of trauma and inner turmoil. Typically, only the pristine emotions are put on display, yet here, the artist displays the grotesque side of emotion on presentational plinths. Behind hang modern interpretations of Kakemono, showing the erosion and distortion of family memories.

Sulfur Series creates a universe where beauty becomes monstrous and elements of the grotesque become alluring. In this series of manipulated film images, an eeriness is evoked through the gruesome afflictions left by the process of adding layers of distortion. However, behind the confrontational image is this ethereal, alien-like quality that sustains an intriguing pull, enticing a curiosity to be spun. The series depicts the mischievous strike of a match, leading to the second image emblematic of the destruction of conventional beauty, ending with a confrontational stare where beauty is abstracted once more.