Incorporating kiln formed glass, hand crafted jarrah armatures, text and audio components, Minor Truths was a major commission that continued artist Spence Messih's research of abstraction as a tactic to both reveal and conceal, considering the possibility of opacity and recognition — specifically of oneself and of others.
Minor Truths took its starting point from Poems of Truth (1957), a collection of poems and prose by Michael Dillon, a man who at various stages of life was a physician, naval surgeon, author, and novice Buddhist monk. From a considered reading of Dillon’s life and work, Messih has created an exhibition that was suggestive of the vulnerability of knowledge – that language, power, architectures, bodies, and ideas of truth are impermanent, malleable, cracked, and unable to contain themselves.
Messih’s work, like Dillon’s, was in dialogue with ideas of mastery and its limit, not in terms of control but as an expansive pursuit of knowledge attainment. Collaborating with peers, glassworkers, writers, joiners, designers, and fellow artists, Messih had created an installation that presented glass, woodwork, text, and sound in materially direct ways. The network of objects and experiences in the work created a multitude of readings, both open and inscrutable.