This work is part of Alichia van Rhijn’s Sweet Spot—a collection of vibrant ceramic sculptural works that reference recent personal experiences and struggles, alongside early memories of childhood both before her immigration to Australia from South Africa, and her time in her adopted homeland.
Several pieces in this series can be seen as self-portraits, or frozen moments in time, alluding to memories of current and past experiences, while some present as material embodiments of specific events. These works take the form of ‘rattles’ asking to be held, interacted with and listened to.
The forms embody a combination of joy, pain, heartache, acceptance and perseverance. Overwhelming exhaustion and sadness are interspersed with moments of success and pure joy. Finding these moments or ‘sweet spots’ to keep going through adversity, underpins the dialogue between the multi-faceted elements and anthropomorphic forms. They are in a constant state of flux—shifting and changing as they span the fluidity of time.
These forms investigate phenomenological notions, alluding to personal and shared experience, memory, nostalgia and trauma. Through the use of distilled minimalist forms, van Rhijn’s symbolic and ritualistic totems are arranged throughout the gallery space, initiating pause and contemplation.