WITH electronic heads attached to wings, faces that emerge from broken mirrors, and a huge bejewelled mosaic glass eye, Indonesian artist Ismiadi is sure to make a big impact in his new home town of Ballarat.
Ismiadi - who goes by his first name only - left his turbulent home of Bali about 10 years ago, initially moving to Freemantle.
But thankfully for Ballarat, his wife’s job lead the pair to the Victorian city, which they have now taken on as their permanent home.
Ismiadi - a painter, sculptor and performance artist - has been busy since they arrived, creating a raft of cutting-edge absurdist pieces, which are a response to connecting with a different culture, work ethic and climate.
“(My work reflects) the connections to not only the culture but the people in Australia,” he said.
One of the pieces is an electronic head attached to a small animal’s body, complete with wings. He took a mechanism from a broken heater, and using his background in electronics, made a kinetic - and quite strange - sculpture.
He said the piece was a response to free thinking and free movement across the world - which he himself has experienced as a migrant.
“People sometimes find it scary, sometimes funny, it’s a good response,” he said.
Another piece depicts a huge ear, which he made from his neighbour’s broken table.
“I wanted to match the art to the table. I made it an ear because I love listening to music.”
He works with recycled and found materials as well as oil on canvas, with many of his pieces reflecting his concern with environmental issues, particularly from his Indonesian homeland.
With a day job in land restoration, Ismiadi has also created an incredible self-portrait - headless, with only a row of trees where his mind should be.
Ismiadi’s Reconnect is currently exhibiting at Backspace Gallery until June 5.