Amanda Ross-Ho’s work is inspired by detritus: the clutter and remnants of daily existence, and the ‘negative space’ of things over looked. Ranging from sculpture, installation, painting, and photography, her work seeks to uncover the subtle beauty of coincidence and anomaly. Working from source material as diverse as newspaper articles, narcotics agency records, life aspiration manuals, and home-craft instruction booklets, Ross-Ho highlights
points of cultural ‘intersection’ to create extrinsic portraits of contemporary zeitgeist.
Throughout Ross-Ho’s work is a sense of de-familiarisation and detachment, a numbing alienation contrived from everyday ephemera. In pieces such as Seizure, a large inkjet print of drug paraphernalia snapshots is mounted on a make-shift evidence table. A representation of a representation, the illicit glamour, allure, and enticement of busted crime is laid out for scrutiny, rendered vacant and sanitised through its photographic distancing.
Peacock is a photograph made without the use of a camera. Beginning with a classic studio portrait Ross-Ho stencilled out the subject to reveal the pattern of the underlying cutting board before scanning it into a computer. The resulting laser print presents a portrait as void: the figure reduced to a generic grid, its lines intersecting with the architecture in the background, blurring the perception of reality, illusion and construction.
Made from collected items of found ephemera – hobby reference manuals, old photographs, and bits of jewellery – Ross-Ho’s assemblages draw from the histories and associative meanings of discarded objects to describe points of cultural intersection. Sieve is a large sheet of canvas dropcloth cut in the rough approximation of a doily or paper snowflake, its irregular diamond shapes relating to home craft, tribal patterns and op art. Sparsely adorned with paint, iron-ons, and bijoux, the surface literally becomes a filter, distilling and ‘purifying’ the flotsam of personal and collective memory as a monumental field of preciousness re-valued.
Ross-Ho’s paintings similarly broach the uncanny. Translated from images of doilies or macramé wall hangings, her intricate webs are manufactured in grandiose scale, cut from painted black canvas dropcloths, or carved in sheet rock. Their recognition and domestic symbolism becomes estranged, placed out of context through size and materiality. Construing kitsch with the elegance of minimalism, Ross-Ho presents the sentimentality of tchotchke as emotive voids, displacing homey intimacy to the realm of objective contemplation.