TarraWarra Museum of Art will reopen with 'Making Her Mark: Selected Works from the Collection'
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TarraWarra Museum of Art will reopen with 'Making Her Mark: Selected Works from the Collection'
Angela Brennan, What I have done ... 2004, oil on canvas,198.8 x 168 cm, TarraWarra Museum of Art collection, Acquired 2004.

HEALESVILLE.- Victoria Lynn, Director, TarraWarra Museum of Art, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be reopening our doors on 14 July. Our collection exhibition Making Her Mark had only been open for a few short weeks before we closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and it’s the perfect display to welcome visitors back to TarraWarra Museum of Art, with works full of joyous riots of colour and exuberant mark-making.

“Our reopening comes with a few new measures including timed ticketing, capacity limits and increased cleaning regimes, and we will continue to offer digital experiences online for those who choose not to visit us in person just yet. Our Museum and the wide expanses of the Yarra Valley are the perfect place to recharge and connect with nature and art, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back.”

Making Her Mark offers a new appraisal of the work of leading women artists held in the collection of TarraWarra Museum of Art. Rather than exclusively presenting women artists, the exhibition also includes the work of male artists in the form of unexpected pairings to present a nuanced conversation about image, composition and mark-making where women take centre stage. Taking the themes of works by female artists as its starting point—such as the role of memory, a connection to the Australian landscape and the pursuit of abstraction—art by women is not seen as a category, but as a catalyst.

Presented in thematic clusters, the exhibition includes works by Davida Allen, Yvonne Audette, Kate Beynon, Angela Brennan, Virginia Cuppaidge, Janet Dawson, Lesley Dumbrell, Rosalie Gascoigne, Denise Green, Melinda Harper, Louise Hearman, Inge King, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Joanna Lamb, Janet Laurence, Hilarie Mais, Rosslynd Piggott, Angelina Pwerle, Norma Redpath, Sally Smart, Ann Thompson, Aida Tomescu, Michelle Ussher, Jenny Watson and Judy Watson.

These works are presented alongside artworks by their male contemporaries, including Howard Arkley, Ralph Balson, Charles Blackman, Robert Klippel, Clifford Last, Godfrey Miller, John Nixon and Lenton Parr, providing the opportunity to make new comparisons across decades: Jenny Watson and Charles Blackman; Louise Hearman and Godfrey Miller; Kate Beynon and Howard Arkley.

Victoria Lynn said, “The title of the exhibition refers to both the fact that women artists have well and truly made their mark on Australian art as well as highlighting the techniques and processes of “mark-making”, whereby visitors can engage with the numerous ways in which the artists have incorporated images, gestures, colour and texture in their work.”

“Making Her Mark recognises the means by which women artists have pioneered certain ways of seeing the world, while the inclusion of men breaks down the dichotomy between women and men in an era where gender is multifaceted and definitions around male and female are fluid and complex,” Ms Lynn said.

Highlights include the pairing of Melinda Harper’s Untitled paintings with the work of John Nixon to acknowledge Harper’s role in the pursuit of an everyday interpretation of abstraction, drawing on the colours of our contemporary environment; while works by Lesley Dumbrell, Janet Dawson and Virginia Cuppaidge reveal the subtle ways in which these artists interpreted an abstract pulse in the 1970s.

The pairing of Jenny Watson’s He’ll Be My Mirror, 2013, with Charles Blackman’s Christabel and Her Image, 1966, compares the use of a mirror refection by both artists, while the placement of sculptural maquettes by Norma Redpath and Inge King in the company of Clifford Last shows the dynamic ways in which these two major modernist artists forged a unique and important sculptural language.

Other juxtapositions include Kate Beynon and Joanna Lamb with the work of Howard Arkley, the metaphysical forests of Godfrey Miller with the equally mysterious landscapes by Louise Hearman, and the dynamic abstract painting of Yvonne Audette with Ralph Balson.

Further highlights include Janet Laurence’s work Sacred Green, 2018, which underlines her deep engagement with the ecological fragility of our natural environment while works by Angelina Pwerle, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Judy Watson draw on stories of Country and belonging.

Making Her Mark: Selected Works from the Collection is on display at TarraWarra Museum of Art from 14 July to 23 August 2020.

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