Making Her Mark

19/03/2018
08/04/2018

Domestic Bliss II by Aadje BruceDomestic Bliss II by Aadje Bruce

This exhibition highlights the female Australian artists included in the City of Bunbury art collection and shows a range of artistic approaches.

It is important to recognise that art has been and still is dominated by male influences throughout Australian artistic history.

Women artists came to the fore as Australian modernists during the 1920s and 1930s.  This was an era of industrialisation and modernisation in Australian cities and a number of significant women artists who had studied or travelled overseas returned to Australia at this time.  These artists brought with them an understanding of European Post-Impressionism and Cubism.

It was the 1970’s Women’s Movement that inspired women artists to develop new and different modes of artistic expression, influenced by international contemporary trends. Germaine Greer published her book ‘The Female Eunuch’ on feminism, followed by ‘The Obstacle Race’, which is a comment on the deeply endemic social and cultural barriers that women artists confronted across cultures and centuries.

Women’s Art Movement groups were established around Australia, fostering a large body of theory and diverse artistic practice, redefining what was possible in the studio and beyond and paving the way for many women artists practicing today.

There has often been debate about whether particular subjects or artistic qualities can be defined as distinctly feminine or masculine.

There is certainly a deep richness and diversity in the subject matter of the works in this exhibition.

Some of these artists are strongly influenced by feminism, exploring gender issues, psychological states, questioning our social and environmental connections and provoking the senses by the use of materials.

Local South West artist Helen Seiver states: ‘While primarily seeking to make sense of and broaden an understanding of my role as a contemporary female, my work also reflects the essential part women have played in determining the nature, shape and structure of female roles and identity.”

For others, the process starts with a feeling and remembering of a place, personal stories of love and loss, referencing to the joys and pains in their life experiences. These works are introspective and containing a sense of fragility and delicacy. They are about the examination of our existence, in relation to ourselves and each other within both the natural and social environment and the impact and connections that these interactions have.

 

Thanks go to the City of Bunbury, the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries and the City of Bunbury art curator Caroline Lunel for the loan of this exhibition.