Zabuton, Kensuke Todo, 2013, mild steel, 26 x 70 x 68 cm, Arthur Roe Collection Melbourne. Photo by Stuart Hay.

Zabuton, Kensuke Todo, 2013, mild steel, 26 x 70 x 68 cm, Arthur Roe Collection Melbourne. Photo by Stuart Hay.

Exhibition space: Kensuke Todo

Steel bashed into the shape of a cushion, weighed down by a steel box. An 'apex' traveling downwards. A set of stairs lying sideways on the floor.

The contradictions of ANU graduate KENSUKE TODO's work leave the viewer in peaceful awe of the tension and beauty he creates through just one medium - mild steel. GEORGIA NIELSEN explores.

It doesn't seem possible to create the illusion of softness and warmth with a material like steel, but that is exactly what Kensuke Todo has achieved in his self-titled exhibition Kensuke Todo which is showing at the Drill Hall Gallery.

The works, past and present, of the Japanese-born sculptor turned Canberra-resident, have been brought together in this latest exhibition by curator Peter Haynes.

The exhibition explores two sides of Todo's art: those parts of the built environment that move people from place to place and the juxtaposition between soft and hard, animate and inanimate.

Apex speaks to the architectural sources that contribute to Todo's work. Haynes says the piece questions its viewers with its enigmatic design.

"The serrated elements resemble stairs but those on the right-hand arm face downwards and thus question the reliability of accepting resemblance as reality in Todo's art."

Todo continues this idea with the title which suggests the highest part of something forming towards a point. And yet the piece reflects the opposite with the two arms of the work traveling downwards towards an 'apex' at the base.

In using his chosen medium - mild steel - Todo has become a quasi-blacksmith.