Izabela Pluta

Izabela Pluta

Cavitation explores an underwater rock formation situated off the coast of Japan’s western most islands, where the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea meet. This oceanic relic is allegorically potent prompting archaeologists and scientists to speculate on it being either a natural anomaly or a cultural artefact. The artist questions: How does this site evoke myth, making us complicit in the fiction that surrounds it. Or, how does mythology transcend fixed notions of place to offer an alternate set of shifting coordinates. 

While exploring the submarine monument and nearby coastal terrain, Pluta collected a trove of mementos. Removed from the geographical and temporal narrative of the original expansive landscape these appropriated objects took on greater significance in the mind of the artist. The Abstruse terms and general uncertainties series of micro-portraits, staged in Pluta’s Sydney studio, construct new identities for each artefact effectively evoking their histories while fusing them with the present. 

All works were initially exhibited at the ACP in the exhibition Geography of Space, Archaeology of Time before touring as a part of Oceans From Here exhibition.

The Works

Cavitation   2018 

Three channel, digital moving image, with sound. Duration 9:06 min loop
Editing: Vera Hong 
Voice: Izabela Pluta reading an adaption from W.G. Moore, The Penguin dictionary of geography, 4th ed. rev. 1973. 
Dive briefing with staff of SOU-WES Yonaguni, Japan, 22 January, 2018. 
Project assistance: Paulo Macchia, Andrew Yip, Janusz Pluta, 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo, and Sou-Wes Diving Company, Yonaguni, Japan.   
This project has been assisted by a UNSW Art & Design Faculty Research Grant.

Abstruse terms and general uncertainties series  2018 

Ocean current 1
Ocean current 2 

Chromogenic print on metallic paper 


Gelatin silver print 
All works courtesy the Artist and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney
Installation views courtesy of the ACP and Richard Glover

About the Artist

Izabela Pluta is a Polish-born, Sydney-based artist. Her works are inspired by research and artist’s residencies undertaken in Barcelona, Paris, Belfast, Beijing, Japan and Malta. Pluta was commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales to create a significant new work for ‘The National 2019: New Australian Art’ exhibition. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Bowness Photography Award at the Monash Gallery of Art, and shortlisted for the MAMA Foundation National Photographic Award in 2018. A lecturer at UNSW Art & Design Faculty, this project was assisted by Research Grant from the university.