Downstairs Dining Room — Octopus

Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro are New South Wales-based artists. They are collaborative artists whose practice brings together ideas of home, movement, consumerism, reinvention and destruction.


Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro’s works stage a home invasion through the motif of décor. The sculptures are simultaneously creepy and funny in the way they address physical threat. An octopus has managed to clamber onto a chair and there is something particularly horrible about the way its tentacles writhe off the edges of the seat and out into the space of the viewer. Elsewhere, a snake has insinuated itself under the wall shelf as if lying in wait, ready to strike out at unsuspecting passers-by. The titles of the individual works are both narrative and documentary, since they give the name of the animal and the location in the house where the infiltration is occurring. We can’t help wondering whether multiple invasions aren’t secretly happening simultaneously elsewhere around the home. And whether the invasions are really by animals at all, rather than powerful global consumer brands. Although ready-mades have long been part of the sculptural tradition, there is something about the two brand name products—Lego and IKEA—that seems to subvert the idea of the ready-made. More like un-readymade, the whole point of both of these types of merchandise is that they require elaborate effort in their constructing.

Christine Toussainte Morrow

Top Image

Downstairs Dining Room — Octopus, 2014
Lego, IKEA chair and plant with hanger  •  96 × 100 × 72 cm
Photography by Ivan Bulijan  •  Image courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery


Hallway / Rear Entrance — Snake, 2014
Lego, IKEA shelf with drawers and plant  •  147 × 115 × 30 cm
Photography by Ivan Bulijan  •  Image courtesy of the artists and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery