LN Tallur

LN Tallur / India, b.1971 / Aurophobia – the fear of gold 2012 / Wood, iron, sawdust, industrial paint / Commissioned 2012. Queensland Art Gallery / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

LN Tallur's sculptures blend traditional craftsmanship with technology and social critique, combining the organic, the readymade, the industrial and the electronic in a fluent melding of traditional Indian forms and contemporary styles. Tallur's 'Chromatophobia' series conflates the concept of the fear of money with the fear of colour, using the medium of currency and the gold standard to invoke the contradictions of global exchange.

Historically, gold has been the international guarantee of economic relations, and it continues to be reserve currency around the world, increasing in value in times of uncertainty. Gold also constitutes shared territory between India and Australia – India is a major market for Australian gold, and its discovery in Australia in the nineteenth century generated the first major wave of Asian immigration.

Aurophobia takes the form of a South Indian temple car, of the sort offered to the gods by wealthy devotees as a kind of status symbol. Its shape is a hybrid of traditional chariot forms and that of the Holtermann Nugget, the largest mass of gold ever found, unearthed in Hill End, New South Wales in 1872. Relief carvings around the base depict the history of gold mining in Australia.