Words and photos: Andrew Potocnik
If it doesn’t work, throw it away. If you don’t like it throw it away. If it’s past its use-by date throw it away.
The modern world is filled with waste, driven by consuming the new, be it fashion, technology, or just keeping up with trends.
It’s the opposite of the world I was brought up in. My parents were WWII refugees who were offered an opportunity of a new life, and they grasped it with both hands. They had skills, physical ability and a desire to make a better existence for themselves and their offspring. As children we were brought up to not throw things away, to save for a rainy day, to think three times before buying something to ensure it really was needed.
I am driven to make, not like my parents who did so through necessity, but through desire. My drive comes from a creative base, I make because I see the potential beauty in materials that surround me, mostly wood. I have so much wood that I can see potential in, opportunity that just waits the right moment of divine intervention or insight when it can be converted into something of beauty, I hope.
I have a reverence for wood, and anything I can do to show its inherent beauty is a privilege I’ve stumbled upon…
I love to see the graceful forms of trees pumping oxygen into our atmosphere, but I also realise that once trees have passed their living life cycle there is a point where the treasures hidden within can be exposed before decomposition – another stage in the life-cycle of any organic matter, humans included, but what can we offer once we’ve gone past our ‘use by date’? Trees continue to give…
Works in this exhibition are drawn from salvaged, recycled or repurposed wood that would otherwise have been used as firewood, all sourced from my immediate environment. I hate to see this precious material go to waste and enjoy nothing more than finding a way of exploiting its intrinsic beauty.
My greatest dilemma with wood is that I have so much wonderful material in stock that I don’t have enough ideas or skills to dojustice to its true value. It is far more precious than I am capable of celebrating.
Andrew Potocnik is a regular contributor to Australian Wood Review magazine.
Sculptural and functional woodwork by Andrew Potocnik
March 9 - April 8, 2018
Bolin Bolin Gallery, 6 Manningham Rd, West Bulleen, Vic