1. (Breadworks No. 2) In Adoration II, 1980, MDF plinth, Perspex box, and mixed media, 144 x 54 x 64 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, gift of the artist, 1989.
2. Sure and Plenty II, 1987-88, MDF and bronze, 31 x 36 x 11 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, purchased with assistance of the Victorian Regional Galleries Art Foundation, 1989.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, and arriving in Australia in 1975, Dan Wollmering is a contemporary sculptor. His work usually follows Minimalist traditions and focuses on the essence of abstracted forms. Wollmering uses materials such as bronze, steel and wood in his work and often explores the materiality beyond its usual expectations.
Wollmering is interested in the creative process informed by material investigation and exploration, involving manipulating and building objects and innovative substances. The sculpture (Breadworks No.2) In Adoration II is an example that shows Wollmering’s interest in aesthetic and conceptual qualities explored through unusual materials. At the top of the plinth in a clear Perspex box, a loaf of bread appears to be compressed, forced into an uncomfortable position from the pressure between two thicker pieces of Perspex, screwed in place.
Preserved in this contorted position, the hardened outer layer of the bread is hardened and cracked. A third of the way down the plinth, a small organic triangular window reveals a sedimentary deposit of bread pieces. The transference of bread into a material with sculptural possibilities imparts ideas of abjection and decomposition.
In his early career, Wollmering spent some years in the 1980s in Gippsland, lecturing in the Wood/Sculpture department at the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education. Both his practice and art teaching have been important to the development of contemporary sculpture in Gippsland.
Wollmering has completed a Bachelor’s degree, an MFA and a PhD in Sculpture and extended media. Following his art teaching positions in Gippsland, Wollmering taught at Monash University Caulfield Campus as the Sculpture Studio Coordinator.