Figuring features over one hundred string figures made of face-mask elastic, pinned across the walls of three galleries.
Bufardeci’s project is inspired by the game of string figures, or cat’s cradles, which used to be a popular game in primary school playgrounds. Children would make Jacob’s Ladder, Cat’s Whiskers, A Broom, A Teacup or many other figures. Formed with mask elastic and presented in grids, Bufardeci’s string figures are not complete. They come from attempts to make something fully formed but they are tense, slack and entangled.
Like abstract Rorschach ink blots, the figures offer hints and suggestions of things that already exist in the world such as animals, objects or scenes. However, they also suggest other things or ideas that don’t already exist. In her attempts to create the string figures, taken from those documented in anthropologist Caroline Furness Jayne’s book, String Figures: A study of cat’s cradle in many lands from 1906, Bufardeci has created an extensive series of new shapes and forms.
Image: Louisa Bufardeci making string figures, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist. Photographer: Dan St Clair.
The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.