Friday, 5 May 2017


SHARNA OSBORNE – ‘an intimate sense of threat’

Flummox of Equilibria – FAMILY TREE  (c.2007)

Sharna Osborne is out there – definitely – NZ-born via Australia to London and the world. Her tool the moving image for the moving world. Yet the work showing at WINDOWSPACE-BEEAC is anchored, quite literally, by an umbilical cord(?)  Something to do with where we come from – a cabbage patch? And where we want to reach out to? What we want to wash away? Who would have thought the wild cosmopolitan world of Osborne would find a window on Beeac, Australia 3251.

Impossible is nothing as the Chinese say (especially about the time of the 2008 Chinese Olympic Games). 

Osborne’s work has reminded this writer of Glenn Romanis’ Blue Sheep, (1999).
Like Osborne Romanis defies pigeon-holing – his work ranges across media and the landscape in what is now a very competitive ‘area’, a commissioned life – public sculpture: concept design production installation. He mashed sheep and blue – way before The Avatar ever thought Blue.

The provocative design, art direction and fashion styling of Briton Judy Blame, way earlier, might also offer context for Osborne. Blame’s early work, a generation ahead of hers, deep in the counterculture of the 70s, 'stirred the pot' and pulled together unlikely tangents to make a provocative object. 

The artist is indeed a many splendid thing. Find more about Sharna Osborne's work at:

Maybe a Greek might offer a ‘final word’: ‘In the past two decades, as the world has become more polarized, there has been a radical explosion in activist, dialogical, interventionist and tactical media art practices in almost every corner of the world.’ (Nikos Papastergiadis, Cosmopolitanism and Culture, [2012]. Osborne’s work, to this writer’s mind, seems to encapsulate what Papastergiadis terms ‘an intimate sense of threat’.

Flummox of Equilibria – FAMILY TREE  (c.2007) [still, on a screen, in a room]

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