Lou Hubbard: Table Land brings a significant – but previously never shown – painting ‘Untitled (Landed)’ (1993), into focus with three major sculptural works by Hubbard. The painting refers to popular – and iconic – Australian modernists such as Charles Blackman and Sidney Nolan, yet actually reveals a more personal, domestic moment.
Each of the sculptures comprises an assemblage of everyday materials, and explores common relationships to subjectivity and knowledge, lived experience and cultural inheritance. ‘Table Top’ (2016) continues Hubbard’s use of the horse as a recurring motif that epitomises her focus on the dynamics of training and submission. Combined with domestic furnishings and sentimental mementos, the found and collected horses and riders are collapsed into sculptural collages suggesting compression, memory and intimacy.
Hubbard’s ‘Unstable Table’ (2005) is a kind of Australian still life comprising a ‘settler’ wooden table with an arrangement of wooden fruit, goblets, carved bookends featuring a mother and child and an old glossy bookplate of a Russell Drysdale painting of an Australian girl, each brought into strange proximity to both display and probe our colonial past. Using a combination of both rudimentary and refined approaches in her practice, and refusing any tendency toward embellishment or inscrutable artifice, the ultimate effect of Hubbard’s works might be seen as perversely humorous or strangely sentimental.