Within + Without brings together 12 contemporary artists working within the historically gendered mediums of textiles and ceramics, and exploring powerful representations of our inner and outer worlds.
We experience the world by navigating a series of internal and external domains. Our thoughts, interior spaces, anatomies and senses of self coalesce to inform our personal landscapes. Externally, our relationships, cultures, politics, appearances and social structures influence the way we move through our shared surroundings. Each of the artists in this exhibition engage with these themes in their work, at times investigating how the two areas interrelate. Their chosen mediums of textiles and clay further enrich these explorations through the materials’ associations with domesticity and nature, respectively.
The works of these artists contrast, complement and intersect with each other, providing opportunities to examine relationships within and without. Pieces by Vanessa Barragão and Claire Lindner evoke imagery found in nature, while Daisy Collingridge and Janice Redman incorporate materials and references found in interiors. Phoebe Collings-James and Bisila Noha’s works contemplate identity and how that can be informed by our wider environments. Similarly, Anya Paintsil, Sarah Zapata and Ferren Gipson reflect on cultural influences, drawing connections between family, heritage and materials. Looking inwards, Bea Bonafini, Armina Howada Mussa and Paloma Proudfoot investigate subjects of grief, memory and the stories we tell ourselves.
Within + Without is an extension of Ferren Gipson’s research for her book Women’s Work, with each project celebrating the continuing legacy of modern and contemporary women artists working in textiles and ceramics. The historical attribution of these mediums as ‘feminine’ and ‘traditional’ art forms fortifies the work of these artists with layers of social and cultural context, enabling them to represent the world in a deeply nuanced way. Through employing these mediums, artists – particularly women artists – challenge patriarchal hierarchies within art, upending stale notions of ‘high’ or ‘fine’ art. The artists in this exhibition have varied practices that highlight how these materials and methods can function as powerful tools to engage with the complexities of our public and private lives.
Curator Ferren Gipson writes:
This exhibition was inspired by a book celebrating work by women in mediums that have historically been labelled ‘women’s work’. And just what is that phrase supposed to mean?, you may ask. Excellent question. We know that people of any gender can (and do) carry out any type of work, but it’s true that women across many cultures have historically done much of the weaving, sewing and spinning in their communities for centuries. In some societies, such as some indigenous cultures of the Americas, women were also the exclusive producers of ceramic objects. Even all the way back in the Stone Age, it was likely to have been women makers who sculpted and fired some of the oldest surviving ceramic figurines. Over thousands of years, these essential skills – which provided clothing, vessels to cook and store food and more – came to be closely associated with the activities of women.
170 x 300 x 233 cm
140 cm x 40 cm x 19 cm
Red and blue untangled silhouette n°1
116 x 46 x 13 cm
30 x 21 x 10 cm
The subtle rules the dense
55.9 x 40.6 cm
Reunion I’ from the project ‘Searching for Kouame Kakaha’
27 x 22.5 x 11 cm
24 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm
150 x 47 x 47 cm
In times of mourning or social protest 2
28 x 24 x 19 cm
We Look Good Together
60 x 50 cm
Armina Howada Mussa
The Mark of Psychic Wounds
76.2 x 30.5 x 25.4 cm
160.02 x 139.7 cm
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