SAMSTAG ALUMNI 2007

Nick Mangan
Born 1979, Geelong, Victoria

The sculptures that Nick Mangan makes are essentially accretions, sometimes geological, like crystals; sometimes organic, like coral. They also incorporate unexpected combinations of objects, and reflect the collage principle that has continually influenced art since Picasso began sticking bits of bric–a–brac together a century ago. Mangan expresses an interest in the proliferation of exotic souvenirs associated with trade routes and colonialism. The meaning and use of such objects transforms as their location alters, and they become recontextualized in a global system of information and commodity exchange. Mangan's constructed hybrids are analogous to the collage society we live, pieced together from fragments so diverse that their origins are almost meaningless.

His sculptures suggest the way that geographical and cultural divisions have dissolved to the point where everything is more or less loosely connected. It is not, however, the connections that seem most significant. He expresses the accompanying dissolution. Termites provide a very useful analogy for this dual process because they not only invade and destroy objects, but also rearrange and construct matter. Mangan's sculpture The Colony suggests both growth and decay. The spiky construction of chewed wood could be alternatively read as skeletal remains or a thrusting edifice. 

Timothy Morell from his Samstag catalogue essay, Loose connections
 
2007 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship 
2007 Guest Student, Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany  
2001 Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art), Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne  

Artist's website
http://www.nicholasmangan.com/