Abstraction at Five Walls

I’m delighted to be presenting a selection of photographic works as part of Abstraction, a group exhibition curated by Missy Ueda and Emma Langridge to celebrate the practice of 50 Australian women artists.

In 1968, the National Gallery of Victoria opened its doors on its inaugural exhibition, The Field. This was a landmark event: a comprehensive survey of abstraction in Australia. 

The work of forty artists was presented, including hard-edge, geometric, colour and flat abstraction. The intention was to underscore a vastly underappreciated genre which favoured form, line and colour, whilst eschewing representation and figuration.

In 2018, The Field was recreated. All attempts were made to replicate the original exhibition, down to the silver walls of the gallery space.

However, by recontextualising the exhibition in the 21st century, the curators also reiterated the gender imbalance, underscoring it, emphasising it. Of the forty artists, thirty-seven were men – and three were women. Normana Wight, Janet Dawson, and Wendy Paramor were the only females whose work was included.

This was less than five years ago.

We live in a time where we collectively look to the past and turn over rocks, attempting to rediscover what was there all along. We reinterpret, rewrite and rediscover what was lost, redressing past inequalities in order to provide a fairer assessment of what really happened, and to move forward with the intent to be fairer. We are aware that so much has been omitted from the history books.

In the year 2023, an exhibition highlighting the work of women abstract artists in Australia should not be needed. These artists work daily at their practice, which is also to say that it is an everyday activity.

So, though it should not be needed, for now it is absolutely necessary.

We need to keep saying it, with the ultimate goal of not needing to say it.

Missy Ueda and Emma Langridge, 2023

Gippsland Print Award 2017

Untitled (polymatrix), blind embossing with stitching, 28×28.5cm, 2017

Untitled (polymatrix), a blind embossing crafted from a lino-block plate and embellished with stitched isometric triangles, is on view until 19 November 2017 at Gippsland Art Gallery’s biennial celebration of printmaking. The exhibition is a showcase of the creativity of artists working across a broad spectrum of print media.

Libris Awards finalist

This pair of Untitled (unknown specimens photogram) books have been selected for show at the Libris Award at Artspace Mackay from 27 August to 16 October. Looking forward to seeing the exhibition; it’s a fab line-up of artists from around Australia.