How to Cut an Orange

Zoë Croggon, Justine Ellis, Ash Holmes & Dan Rule (eds)

How to Cut an Orange
Perimeter Books
1 June 2024

How to Cut an Orange

Zoë Croggon, Justine Ellis, Ash Holmes & Dan Rule (eds)

Much reveals itself in the work of Melbourne-based artist Zoë Croggon, though some cues speak louder than others. There is Croggon’s lucid understanding of the kinetic body and its syntax of gestures; figures float, curve, and drape in an elegant, unknowable choreography. There are the formal and technical particularities of her unique rendition of collage. Stripping the process to its most economical and decisive form, Croggon allows the single cut or the sculptural fold to do the heavy lifting. Dig deeper and the artist’s slow, methodical mining of the archive begins to reveal itself; her deep reading, research, and weaving-together of key threads from art, performance, and architectural history. In recent years, drawing has permeated her practice; raw cuts and lively strokes scarring her work’s various surfaces.

But perhaps one of her work’s most important anchors, as quiet as it may be, can be found in the literary. Croggon – whose debut book Arc was published by Perimeter Editions to great acclaim in 2015 – has often described a life surrounded by books and reading, and positions her work as a kind of aftereffect of literary engagement.

Piecing together a selection of works made over the last eight years, Croggon’s striking new artist’s book How to Cut an Orange embraces the written word more wholeheartedly than ever before. Featuring an incisive abstracted essay by the celebrated young poet Samantha Abdy, and a selection of poems by Croggon’s mother – the renowned cultural critic, author and poet, Alison Croggon – How to Cut an Orange puts the artist’s sensuous, visceral photographic collages in direct conversation with the words and worlds that bracket and surround them. As much as Croggon’s practice is one of deep research and introspection, it also gazes outward. ‘It is perhaps about being a spectator in the world,’ writes Abdy in her essay. ‘It is about having a body in the world. It’s about being in the world.’

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