b. 1988 Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
Alexandra Standen is a Sydney based artist creating sculptural forms from clay. She is a graduate of The National Art School (2011) and has been awarded her Masters by research from UNSW Art and Design (2018) .
Alexandra has undertaken a number of artist residencies, most recently at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris and previously in Tel Aviv, Geneva, the United Kingdom. As a result, her work embodies how we come to exist within different environments and explores our relationships to both physical and emotional spaces.
It is not the intent of her art practice to indicate symbolic meaning carried by any given object nor, is it to attach such rigid ‘meanings’ to objects chosen by her for display. By examining the way objects and their relationships act as metaphors for human behaviour, particularly through functional references, and the apparent coincidental nature of them, this body of work (collection of things, objects of intent) focuses on the subjective, cultural, and ideological meanings of material things. Collecting and living with objects has led to an understanding of a physical involvement in the spaces held by interior and exterior environments. Installations within galleries and museums allow us to become part of the world of objects whenever engaging with them either physically or intellectually. The things we surround ourselves with, on a larger scale, encompass the environments we function in and organise our lives around.
The premise of Alexandra’s work is to bring into question the fragility of ceramic objects. Susan M. Pearce states, In a world of objects, different people will take different things into their hearts and minds, and so objects cross the threshold from the outside to the inwardness of collection. In a unique sense our collections are what we are. Museums and galleries hold the stored material culture of the past and from this function flows. This closed, singular history is inscribed not only on the objects within the museum or gallery but on a range of related ideas, ideologies, knowledges and experiences.
What remains is nostalgia and a sadness without an object, a sadness that creates a longing that of necessity is inauthentic because it does not take part in lived experiences. Rather it remains behind and before that experience. ‘Nostalgia, like any form of narrative, is always ideological, the past it seeks has never existed except as narrative and so is alway absent’