colour + form : compendium (a fiction)

Sandra Bridie colour + form : compendium (a fiction)

Imagine if Bauhaus master Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack had spawned an artists group in Melbourne in the early 1960s. Using this hypothesis, Melbourne artist Sandra Bridie has invented a fictional artists group called colour + form.

The fiction: colour + form was created by three student teachers who met at Kew Kindergarten College in 1958. Inspired by their lecturer, Bauhaus master Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, and the aesthetic of formalism and its pedagogical possibilities that he introduced them to, Brian Hutting, Hilary Sorensen and Sandra Bridie decided to embark on a series of art projects outside of college hours, using simple colours and forms.

In 1960, after leaving college, Hutting, Sorensen and Bridie distilled the ideas for their project further. They formulated a series of conceptual constraints and wrote a brief manifesto and an artists group was born. The group was called colour + form and the parameters they set themselves were minimal: a basic geometric form attached to a primary colour was allocated to each member, and they would produce work purely from that form and in that colour. The allocations were as follows: Brian Hutting: blue circle, Hilary Sorensen: red square, Sandra Bridie: yellow triangle. From this seemingly straitened premise, a surprising array of both serious and playful possibilities emerged, and these have generated an extensive collection of artworks, events and publications that the group continue to produce to this day.

Now in their mid-seventies and laying claim to being the longest running abstract art movement in Australia, c+f has an extensive exhibiting history as a group and as individuals in Australia, Europe and South America. These include numerous collaborations or 'intersections' with international groups such as GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel, Paris (1960-68) and the Neo-Concret movement in Brazil (1959-61).

This exhibition, colour + form : compendium, re-enacts a series of interactive installations, painted banners and light projected works first presented by the fictional group in the 1970s.

Reconnecting with Techno Park's former identity as a custom-built kindergarten, colour + form: compendium creates a sense of structured play, inviting physical engagement from its audience. In the main classroom, Bridie presents a primary-coloured, geometric-interactive environment for viewers to reassemble and climb onto modules of play equipment. In the old reception area, the Coloured Light Plays light projection installation invites visitors to participate in creating coloured shape shadow plays.

Sandra Bridie is a Melbourne-based artist/curator. Her solo practice involves the invention of fictional artists who sometimes bear her own name, imagined into the Melbourne art landscape of the 20th and 21st centuries. This ongoing conceit allows Bridie to play out numerous possibilities for the artist within a familiar locale.