Neil Roberts

Rooney, Robert,

"A selection short list"

The Australian, Review, 16 July 1994.

Robert Rooney

I didn’t, however, count on the first day’s viewing beginning with Neil Roberts’s The Ultimates and other works, a show – at the Luba Bilu Gallery – which is dominated by sculptures consisting of large collections of things.

Seeing the long row of trowels on the wall and the “rotation” of garden rakes and round found objects (wheels, polishing brushes, rusting hub-caps and such) displayed at random across another, I thought of the fascinating exhibition Elizabeth Gower assembled last year of artists’ collections, which often consisted of things related according to shape and type. In most cases they were interesting in themselves and had no need to be made into art works.

Roberts, on the other hand, can’t seem to leave things as he finds them, but is aware enough of each one’s special qualities to subject them to a minimum of artistic intervention–as in the trowels and a collection of Siamese-twinlike sheet metal funnels.