“Seems like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground…
Broken bodies broken bones
Broken voices on broken phones
Take a deep breath feel like you’re chokin’
Everything is broken.”
Like this lamentation by Bob Dylan, everything in the work of Michael Riddle is broken. Black panels bear deep cracks in their surface. Lattice forms that we imagine once stood proud and strong, are crumpled, some under the weight of rocks, others by circumstances unknown. The titles of the works carry suggestive words such as catastrophic, collapse, control, and failure. The materials the artist uses are pulled from the industrial world, among them pewter, steel, acrylic resin, fiberglass, and concrete. Commonplace things, yet here alchemised to create bitumen-like surfaces and stoic metal structures. These materials are made to stand the test of time—they speak of willful permanence—yet each artwork is frozen in some state of undoing.
Meagan Williams – Acting Senior Curator/Curator (Public Programs) QUT Art Museum