Four of my homo-insecta watercolours, pictured above and below, are on display on the mezzanine level of the gallery. (A fifth watercolour, Ladybird Woman, had just flown away to be part of a private collection in Sydney). That’s Shane and I viewing the remaining works in the photo second from bottom below. (Photo credit: Theo Mantalvanos).
Sunday, May 30, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021
Following directly from my last post is a preview of the two works that are part of the upcoming exhibition, INTO ME SEE at The One Star Gallery in West Melbourne.
The construct of INTO ME SEE (scroll down to read the exhibition brief, or click HERE) underpins much of my own work, which focuses primarily on women’s hidden histories. One of its dominant motifs is the ‘figure seen from behind’, or Rückenfigur. A perpetual outsider, the Rückenfigur reflects a mood of quietude and isolation. Like the protagonist of New Horizon, 2020, pictured top, (1) she invites us to share her journey, learn her story and see the world through her eyes, to the extent that we become as one with her.
The Rückenfigur addresses a particularly divisive time in our history, when our state of disconnection - from ourselves, from each other and from the natural world - seems greater than ever before.
My drawing Maid of Honour, 2020, pictured above, (2) alludes to the centuries-long tradition of women stitching their stories onto fabric in place of ink and paper. The pattern on the anonymous subject’s elaborately tattooed back draws parallels between the tattoo and embroidery needle. It is based on a detail from Maids of Honour, an embroidery pattern designed by May Morris (1862-1938). Morris, who characteristically drew her inspiration directly from nature, was a significant contributor to the Arts and Crafts Movement, a prolific embroiderer, textile, wallpaper and jewellery designer and educator. Even now, however, her designs are sometimes attributed to her more famous father, William Morris.
INTO ME SEE is curated by Mariella Del Conte. Exhibiting artists are: Camilla Gold, Deborah Klein, Deborah Walker, Georgia Janetzki, Heidi Yardley, Jane Burton, Jenny Watson, Katrina Beale, Lisa Barmby, Lisa Roet, Mina Young, Polly Borland, Sophia Hewson, Susan Wyers, Victoria Hartcup, Edwina Preston and Anna White.
Opening night: Thursday, 20 May, 6 - 8 pm
The One Star Gallery, 301-303 Victoria Street, West Melbourne, 3003
Gallery hours: 3 - 7 pm Monday - Friday, or by appointment: 0432357537
INTO ME SEE runs from 19 May - 12 June
Pictured from top:
(1) New Horizon, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 50.8 x 50.8 cm
(2) Maid of Honour, 2020, ink, watercolour and water soluble graphite on Khadi paper, 42 x 30 cm
(3) Mick Harvey, AKA Neo Arts, co-founder (with Katrina Beale) of The One Star Gallery, pictured here with exhibition curator Mariella Del Conte as they begin the installation of INTO ME SEE. My two works are in the foreground. In the background, L-R, are works by Deborah Walker and Heidi Yardley. Mick Harvey’s Instagram page is HERE.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
I’m delighted to have two works, a painting and a drawing, included in INTO ME SEE, a group show curated by Mariella Del Conte.
Ester Perel, a leading couple’s therapist, describes the concept of intimacy in our times as ‘Into Me See’, where we ask another to enter into a relationship with our inner life.
What part does intimacy play in art and how much of themselves do artists reveal in their work? How do we, as viewers, connect to artworks; how do they enter us and touch us? Can we call this connection intimacy?
At a time when attention spans are waning and media - including the sharing of intimate details of our lives - scrolls at a nauseating speed, how do we as artists invite the attention and trust of the viewer in exchange for meaning, validation and substance (Into me see)?
Intimacy offers respite from isolation and meaninglessness but it requires time - time to look, connect and unconsciously/ subconsciously evaluate and invibe.
An intimate artwork can be: a portrait, an object of meaning to the artist or an erotic inner or outer world. The veiled or not fully revealed meaning of an artwork can invite intimacy.
The detail and delicacy of an artwork which is painstakingly composed and produced can be the form of intimacy regardless of the subject matter.
Not every artwork is intimate, not every attempt to engage our attention is an invitation to intimacy. Works of art can also provoke feelings of alienation as they reflect and regurgitate reality.
We can’t sustain a constant state of intimacy but the pendulum has swung so far toward atomisation that the lack of intimacy has left us feeling disconnected and alone.
The opening event is on Thursday evening, 20 May, 6 - 8 pm and the exhibition runs from 19 May - 12 June. See the invitation, pictured top, for further information. (Click on it for an enlarged view). The eagle-eyed will spot a detail of one of my works among the cropped images (top row, second from right).
A post focusing on my two works selected for INTO ME SEE will follow shortly.