Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy. 'Seal'. 2014. Lego, IKEA foot stool, IKEA glass cup & saucer. Work in Progress for ‘Habitat’

Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy. ‘Seal’. 2014. Lego, IKEA foot stool, IKEA glass cup & saucer. Work in Progress for ‘Habitat’


The physical description of the project is relatively straightforward: the exhibition contains Lego blocks and IKEA furniture. Installed within the gallery are life-sized exotic animals sculpturally rendered in Lego bricks. These animals intersect IKEA furniture; giving the impression that the animals and the furniture have simultaneously materialised within the same space. The animals are assembled utilising a randomised reduced palette of between 3 and 5 colours per animal.

The IKEA furniture literally penetrates the animals at random angles. The combination of these two elements creates a viewing space that is part menagerie, part showroom. Just as an entomologist pins beetles or other insects upon a viewing board, like a prized taxidermy trophy, our body of work emulates this using IKEA furniture as the skewering device that penetrates the animal.

This fairly uncomfortable scenario (for the animals, at least) draws visual influence from late nineteenth century hoax photographic documentation of ectoplasmic manifestations in which, foreign objects would appear to reveal themselves on photographic plates during séances.

The project is a natural continuation of our line of investigation illustrated in the work ‘Future Fragment’. This work is a sculpture comprised of neatly stacked and bound IKEA furniture- tables, cupboards, and bookshelves structure that hold together a full-sized replica Monolophosoraus fossil: locating human endeavour within the timeframe of natural history.

The combination of fantastic animals with quotidian furniture creates an uncanny situation that hopefully goes beyond the polar juxtaposition of the man-made with the natural, creating a combined sculptural installation that creates an open-ended question into our relationship with our built and natural world.


Artists’ bio:

The collaborative practice of Claire Healy (b.1971), and Sean Cordeiro (b.1974), began in 2001 while undertaking their Master of Fine Arts research degrees at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Their collaborative practice brings together ideas of home, movement and destruction. Healy and Cordeiro create sculpture and installation works that re-use and reform the everyday consumables and detritus of modern life.

In 2005 they were awarded Australia Council residencies at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and Tokyo, Japan. In 2006-2007 they were Guest Artists at the Universität der Künste, Berlin, having been both awarded the Samstag Scholarship. In 2010 they participated in the residency program at the Akiyoshidai International Artist Village, Japan. In the same year they took part in the inaugural Art Setouchi Festival, which took place over nine islands in the inland Seto Sea of Japan.

Their solo exhibitions include flatpack at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 2006, The Paper Trail at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2007, PREMS at La bf15, Lyon 2009, Are we there Yet? at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC 2011 and a survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2012.

Their work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in Australia, Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Healy and Cordeiro’s installation Life Span was part of the Australian representation at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Most recently, they took part in the 5th Auckland Triennale, curated by Hou Hanru.

Their works are in public collections including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of South Australia, The University of Queensland Art Museum and The Gallery of Modern Art Queensland.