b. 1980 in Sydney, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
Whiteheads paintings and sculptures appear more like effigies than art. There is mage magic in them. They have the intensity of rhythmic obsessive marks and strange morphing characteristics. They become a friend or fellow traveller who no doubt whisper truths in your ear. They feel like votive artefacts of a church, but not a church of organised religion. This is a new spirituality uncoupled from social construction, and centred more on a direct relationship between you and your own feelings.
Whitehead’s new sculptures use concrete oxide, a material slightly unusual to most common sculpture making practices, yet one that’s been used by the artist throughout his practice alongside laminated plywood. The unpredictable nature of concrete forges an odd fluidity, the material melting itself off to be sculpted into the images that defer to the fruitful colours and platitudes of the world.
As concrete is casted, oxidised and treated, each layer peels back to reveal clownish masks of gradually yielding observations and imitations. The figures act as silent pageants that stand within their own definitions, imaginary creatures that take shape and accrue near wandering eyes. They give colours, eschew our expectations, and sanction a warped absurdism to those who choose to bear witness to them, to wonder how their exterior would feel like on one’s fingertips, and those who wish to project themselves outwards, in order to invite these creatures inwards.
Whitehead has had three solo exhibitions with Chalk Horse.His works are part of the Art Bank collection.