Colin Suggett (Born 1945 in Warrnambool) is a mixed media artist who manipulates perceptions of reality with his miniaturized mixed-media models and tableaux that epitomize and parody contemporary technology and its intrusion into modern culture. Working since the 197os, Suggett addresses big ideas on a small scale using kinetic and trompe l’oeil effects, which engage and invite the viewer into his fictitious Lilliputian worlds.
His animated machines and figures are constructed with superb technical competency, employing robotic elements, lights and sound to create grand illusions that are Fictitious Realities on a small scale. These three items were part of Fictitious Realities exhibition (1 July – 3 September 2017) at the Gallery at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre.
- In Corridor (2003) – [Plastic, glass, fibreglass, aluminium, steel, paint, electrical components, (80 cm x 250 cm x 56 cm) Collection of McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Victoria], a naked Dantesque everyman bereft of social identity and protection sits below a ticking clock in a cold utilitarian corridor between two lifts. He is in limbo at one minute to midnight, waiting for the arrival of a lift; will it be for the journey down to purgatory or his ascension to salvation?
- Ex Goods Repository (Kinetic, 2017) – [Plastic, glass, metal, wood, paint, silicone, electronic/mechanical components (160 cm x 100.50 cm) Collection of artist]. Suggett presents a commentary on human needs over the ages, to create different gods; and by implication, how the procession of gods reflects on our present spiritual beliefs. The viewer encounters a ‘repository’’ a pseudo-scientific containment vault for hazardous materials. Within which sits a small elaborately ornate box (god box). Seemingly at random, an external red light on the vault flashes a red warning and the god box fractures, emitting an intense white light before returning to an inert state.
- Going Down (Kinetic, 2008) – [Wood, metal, clay, paint, fabric, plastic, electrical/mechanical components (155 cm x 114 cm x 25 cm) Collection of artist]. Going Down was produced at the time of the global financial crisis and presents a critique of contemporary materialism.
“Is It Art?”