Jacinta Keefe, Latifa Elmrini, Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son, Zea Rous, IchikawaEdward, Tess Landells, Zara Sully MotherOpening: Wednesday 5 June, 6 - 8pm Dates: 5 June - 29 June, 2019
“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.”
– N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010)
Mothers, most of us have them in some way or another, but we don’t often think about what a Mother is or can be. Mothers can be human or they can be an idea, a feeling, a shadow that follows us, desires from within or presences that make the hair stand up on your arm.
This exhibition doesn’t define a mother by the usual definitions, “a woman in relation to her child or children, to bring up a child with care and affection” or “give birth to”. We are exploring the effect of the essential force of the “mother” whether it is indeed the person we relate or disassociate with, the animate or inanimate and how it impacts our lives.
Jacinta Keefe is a proud Wiradjuri/Kalarie woman living and working in Naarm (Melbourne). Having completed a BFA at the Victorian College of Arts she continues to develop her practice through spreading her love of art and mentoring in the Indigenous community with art therapy and art mentoring. Most of Keefe’s work is photographic and usually captures people in their most vulnerable and most comfortable, always capturing the moments in between the action. Keefe has spent the past year learning the ropes of curatorship and hopes to someday curate a show on her own.
Latifa Elmrini is a multidisciplinary artist, producer, curator and writer currently based in Melbourne. She explores an intercultural and plurilinguistic heritage as the cornerstone of her practice. She often draws on the experience of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic Diaspora migrant experiences. Of interest to her is the exploration of historic memory and misrepresentation of the ‘Muslim/Arabic body, language, experience’. As well as the systematic and pervasive representation of the female body in mainstream media and popular culture. She is particularly interested in counteracting negative cultural stereotyping, reproduction and reimagining through the ownership and re-appropriation of image, symbology and language within minority communities. She is interested in the role that visual storytelling can play in the reversal of the ‘Orientalized’, ‘colonial’ and ‘imperialistic’ gaze by the reclaiming of ownership by groups that have historically been cast out as the ‘Other’.
Zea Rous’ practice is driven by the evolutionary nature of the human body, its history of augmentation and the tensions between technology and human embodiment. Rous explores the spaces where those fields overlap and hybridise, highlighting the collisions and integrations that emerge from material transformation. This exploration poses questions about future bodies and their potential multiplicities and at what intersections our bodies and technology meet. Rous probes what it means to be human, what it means to be something other than human, and the space in-between.
IchikawaEdward is an ongoing collaboration between artists Ichikawa Lee and Joshua Edward, est. 2017, based in Naarm (Melbourne). The artists practice span mediums of sculpture, installation, performance, photography and creative writing. IchikawaEdward adopts a vast range of materials and process that employ new technologies and fabrication systems, in efforts to achieve nuanced materiality that operates both poetically and politically.
Tess Landells’ art practice uses video, text, installation and photography. Interested in the performative capacities of these mediums, her work circulates within the viewing potential and impressions of desire. Tess is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the VCA. Recent exhibitions include Extension, KINGS Artist-Run, Melbourne (2019) and I thought you’d never ask, Blindside, Melbourne (2019).
Having lived in Korea, Singapore and Australia, Ellen Yeong Gyeong Son occupies a complex cultural position as a contemporary hybrid and a culture-unspecified. She is interested in deconstructing culture, linguistic limitations and racial barriers, and investigating how these factors constantly reshape cultural identities. She utilises cellophane in her practice as a culturally filtered lens and a representation of cultural values/limitations that they may impose on individuals. The act of scratching and sewing on the surface of cellophane are Son’s metaphorical method of erasing, inscribing, layering and censoring not only the borderlines of the unique cultures that often do not intersect with one another but also the memories and experiences of these cultures that one may possess. As a result, Son hopes to create an installation of delicate cellophane banners that often illustrate neither definite nor indefinite senses of belonging to cultures. Son received Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) in 2017 from the Victorian College of the Arts.
Zara Sully fka Zara Sullivan is a multidisciplinary artist who engages with intersectional feminist theory and explores the concept of decentralising queerness through a performative practice. Works include installation, photography, audiovisual media, self-portraiture and sculpture. In 2018 Zara was shortlisted for both the Blake Prize and the Majlis travelling scholarship. Recent shows include I Want to Believe at Trocadero Art Space, Duck Duck Duck at Schoolhouse Studios and the VCA graduate exhibition where they were awarded the Majlis encouragement award. Zara is currently studying their Honours year in Fine Art at Monash University.