Tweed Regional Gallery | Concrete 2
Image: Damien O’Mara, ‘Pile Cap 2’ (detail), 2016.
Throughout the history of art photography, the concrete form has been used to symbolise pervasive and dominant social forces. Concrete through photography has become a symbol of Modernist design, the metropolis, urban growth, industrialisation and of the designed utopia.
O’Mara’s works seek to re-present the concrete form in a way that challenges the established symbolism. Rather than a clean and inert concrete structure, Concrete 2 depicts a concrete bridge that is marked and stained by time and place. The beam structure is overcome by marine growth and algae. The circular pillar reflects the greens and purples of the surrounding vegetation. The concrete form is depicted as immersed in and effected by its environment. While the clean concrete form suggests the dominance of the designed over the natural, the stained and marked concrete form suggests an inevitable intertwining of the intended and the experienced. The works reflect a gradual shift away from the regimentation of Modern societies and towards a less homogenised and more interactive contemporary awareness.
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