Installation view of Joshua Yeldman’s <em>Resonance</em> on display in NGV Triennial from 3 December 2023 – 7 April 2024 at NGV International, Melbourne. Photo: Sean Fennessy

Joshua Yeldham

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Joshua Yeldham
Australia born 1970

Level 2
NGV International
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This intricately detailed image is of a grey mangrove tree on the Hawkesbury River, NSW. Joshua Yeldham has made art with this tree for sixteen years. He states that the old tree – maybe 150 years old – did not speak to him as a photograph. Yeldham said, ‘It was foreign as an image on paper. It was separate to me and I wanted it to be me’. To ‘become’ mangrove, Yeldham carved the surface of the image with a Dremel tool, letting the tip of the grinder meander up through the bark over and over, as a meditation. Each touch of the Dremel brought light. Yeldham explains, ‘I’m starting to make an offering. I’m starting to find illumination and reverence in something that I didn’t fully connect to, which was just a static image. And then I felt it was vulnerable, so I made strings that are holding it together, in case a storm comes. To care and bind’.

Working across painting, carved photography, ceramics and sculpture, Joshua Yeldham’s work conflates these various media. His work ranges from characteristic hand-carved paintings with sculptural assemblages on board, to pierced and carved photographs. Yeldham was awarded the Nancy Fairfax Artist Residency in 2017, through which the artist created new works exhibited in association with his retrospective exhibition at Tweed Regional Gallery. He has been an award finalist for the Wynne Prize, Archibald Prize, Sulman Prize and Mosman Art Prize, and in 2015 he participated in the London Art Fair, ART15.

Gift of Scott Livesey Galleries, 2023