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FEM-aFFINITY

BY Zilla and Brook | 18-Nov-2019
Devonport Regional Art Gallery, in partnership with National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria, presents FEM-aFFINITY – an exhibition of female artists from Arts Project Australia and wider Australia whose work share an affinity of subject matter, technique and process. The exhibition’s curator, Associate Professor Catherine Bell from the Australian Catholic University, seeks to uncover related variations of female identity and perspectives on historical feminist concepts by situating these female artists alongside each other.
Venue: Devonport Regional Art Gallery - 145-151 Rooke St, Devonport
Address: 24 January – 15 March 2020
Date: 24 January - 15 March 2020
FEM-aFFINITY
Drawing upon interdisciplinary approaches, such as painting, printmaking, drawing, performance and photography, the exhibition also considers how artworks are a complex and nuanced way of thinking about embodied knowledge and how it aligns with identity politics explored in contemporary art.

The 14 exhibiting artists include Fulli Andrinopoulos, Jane Trengove, Dorothy Berry, Jill Orr, Wendy Dawson, Helga Groves, Bronwyn Hack, Heather Shimmen, Eden Menta, Janelle Low, Cathy Staughton, Prudence Flint, Lisa Reid, and Yvette Coppersmith.

“I'm a regular visitor to the Arts Project Australia gallery and have a particular interest in the work of the female artists who attend their studio,” says curator Catherine Bell. “I have often considered the uncanny connections their work has with other female contemporary artists.

“I’m interested in highlighting the affinity. Curating a selection of past works by each artist demonstrates a sustained line of enquiry. The opportunity for the artists to collaborate and develop new work for the show celebrates these ongoing themes and connections.”

“The collaborations between artists underpinning FEM-aFFINITY are supported by NETS Victoria”, says Ellen Wignell Acting Director, NETS Victoria. "It is about fostering ongoing relationships, support and a stronger understanding of each of the artist’s work and this project has done this incredibly well. I’m sure these conversations will continue well past the exhibition.”

Exhibiting artists Yvette Coppersmith and Lisa Reid have painted portraits of prominent males in the arts, and over the next few months they plan to draw male life models together. Meanwhile, abstract artists Helga Groves and Wendy Dawson share a similar creative process of layering pigment and surface detail, and they will work in metallic mediums and continue to explore abstract patterns.

Heather Shimmen and Bronwyn Hack are inspired by gothic narratives, famous women in history, and the natural world. Their collaboration will produce an exquisite corpse made up of multi-panel, lino prints that incorporate depictions of the body, flora and fauna.

Other collaborative responses will evolve between artists Jane Trengove and Fulli Andrinopoulos, Janelle Low and Eden Menta, and Prudence Flint and Cathy Staughton. Seminal art works by veteran artist Dorothy Berry, curated from the APA permanent collection, and art world legend Jill Orr, on loan from institutional collections, will also be included in the show. This paring reinforces their shared interest in birds as symbolic motifs in their respective practices and acknowledges their valuable contribution to Australian art.

Arts Project Australia is a studio and gallery that supports artists with intellectual disabilities, promoting their work and advocating for inclusion within contemporary art practice.