In/Visibility: Mini Graff residency

The Cross Art Projects | 1-Feb-2017
Contextual and layered, street art uses the city as an open gallery but, in contrast to the gallery or museum, as these works are unauthorised, their authors must be 'anon', or a Jill Posters. @thecrossartprojects #thecrossartprojects @minigraff #minigraff
Venue: The Cross Art Projects
Address: 8 Llankelly Place, Kings Cross 2011
Date: 4 February to 25 February 2017
Web: http://crossart.com.au/
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EMail: info@crossart.com.au
Call: (02) 9357 2058
Mini Graff, Unknown Rebellious Undertones, 2016.
Contextual and layered, street art uses the city as an open gallery but, in contrast to the gallery or museum, as these works are unauthorised, their authors must be 'anon', or a Jill Posters. The boundaries of the public realm are constantly policed and criminalised. Unlike the gallery-bound history of 'institutional critique', street art plays a vital role as a field critic: one who inhabits the site of practice, and therefore often addresses otherwise invisible issues of cultural and urban homogenisation and exclusion. We are alerted to the presence of these subliminal or unexpected registers of cultural or social commentary, as it is art that appears in the 'wrong place' (Doherty, 2015), outside the narrative structure and prompts of the gallery and outside the twin registers of officialdom and commerce.

The first world city works to eliminate the 'wrong place', focussing on reaffirming our sense of self, reflecting back a picture of a non-threatening, grounded identity - a world of pot plants and bland official public art. Once the walls of Sydney were alive with the handiwork of many Jill Posters. This September 2017 is the 40th anniversary of Walls sometimes speak, an exhibition of posters coordinated by Chips Mackinolty and Toni Robertson, with 14 other poster makers. A small but dynamic group of artists, including some of Australia's most interesting feminist artists continue to interrogate public space. Like Mini Graff they are deeply interested in conversation and telling the story of growing social imbalances in the urban situation. Parody, humor and social commentary are common themes in their work - notions that are translated into experiments with scale in public space - from discrete interventions to large scale installations.

Those who are literate in reading the walls learn to recognise an artist's visual language. Mini Graff, for example, uses hand-cut stencils transferred with aerosol pint or seriography. She emphasises craft skills of Letraset and typography. She has long used a non-threatening quotidian persona, a 'mini Mini' whose work is to reclaim the streets and the historic traditions of street art. Her installations range from single colour, single stencil works to multiple stencils and colours incorporating 3D elements. Depending on the installation the site, Graff also pre-prints onto paper, stickers and wallpaper - hanging them in the place of painted stencils. Graff"s work demonstrates how a simple treatment applied to an object rendered invisible by familiarity, such as a sign post, can return it to our awareness.

Mini Graff has participated in several public art projects including MAY"S Lane, Sydney Art and About, and Outpost, plus presented at numerous events including 7th National Print Symposium, National Gallery of Australia"¨ and IMPACT7 International Print Conference. She is currently working from a residency at The Cross Art Projects and with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG)in California.

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