Petra Svoboda’s art focuses on the impact of Japanese Popular Culture in modern society, examining the recent wave of “Japanophilia” through the mediums of Anime and Manga to designer collectable toys and computer games.
Her work exists within a Pop Surrealist genre with a focus on transforming inflatable toys into hard metallic objects through the process of ceramic casting. Her piece titled “Gokko-Inu (Make Believe Dog)” deals with the phantasmagorical notions of illusion and play, creating a trick of the senses through the materials of the form. The sculptures titled Gokko-Neko (Make Believe Cat) and Gokko-Inu (Make Believe Dog) examine the impact of popular culture on our senses, lives and culture. What also surrounds these mediums is a powerful merchandising machine that generates superfluous amounts of objects that relate to these forms and is marketed as “collectable”. It is interesting to observe how these forms of entertainment have influenced the sub-cultures of graffiti and street art in general, giving rise to a new genre of art practice labelled “Pop Surrealism”.
The inflatable form is presented as a metaphor for the superficial lightness of commercial merchandising through the referencing of the cute (Kawaii) collectable objects associated with the Orient. The inflatable object also occupies itself firmly in the realm of illusion and chimera, connecting itself to the fantasy genre found in computer games, animation, and film. There is not only an allusion to play throughout the installation but a play on the senses as the original plastic inflatable objects have been metamorphosed into hard ceramic objects.
2010 Sculture Now!?!, Yarra Sculpture Gallery, Victoria
2010 Emerging Artist Awards, Finalist, Walker Street Gallery, VIC
2009 Porcelain Biennale, Porsgrunn, Norway
2008 Bara en Kopp, Formagruppen Gallery, Sweden
2005 Interwoven Tales – Ceramics by Petra Svoboda, Kirsty Walker, Pru Morrison, Blender Gallery, Paddington
2003 Fresh Clay, Fresh Glass, Fusions Gallery, Brisbane
2003 Domestic Bliss, Petra Svoboda & Ellen Westcott, The Innercity Clayworkers Gallery, Glebe
2001 Talente 2001, Design Fair, Munich, Germany
2001 New ceramics by Petra Svoboda, Mura Clay Gallery, Newtown
2001 Osmosis, The Innercity Clayworkers Gallery, Glebe