Susan Jacobs: Force Work

9 May - 21 June 2014

Susan Jacobs: Force Work comprises new sculptural installations conceived for the new gallery spaces in the Victor Horsley Chambers. The exhibition extends Jacobs'experimental drawing process, which investigates the latent potential of both site and material.


Force Work expands on recent projects, notably Wood flour for pig iron as part of Melbourne Now at the Natioanl Gallery of Victoria, for which Jacobs fabricated a rudimentary version of Hemacite, a material developed in the late nineteenth century and made from the blood of slaughtered animals and wood flour, and Snake Drawing for the 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Art, whereby she worked with live snakes, holding them as they drew through beds of sand.


Force Work refigures both the archaic and the arcane. Here, Jacobs employs a thaumatrope (a toy popular in Victorian times) to critique the philosophical and economic implications of labour, and creates new sculptural elements utilising a self-fabricated version of Galalith, an early twentieth century milk plastic. A new video work made following Jacobs' recent residency at The MacDowell Colony in the United States, engages the dedicated endeavours of a spider to explore relationships between instinct and motivation, while the exhibition as a whole considers the potential between certain levels of control and unpredictability.