Women in Art: Brush and thread

By Lauren Treiser This month, Nellie Castan Gallery in South Yarra has spoiled me for choice on exhibitions by female artists so I decided to share both with you.

Harem 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

Walking into the gallery you are hit by large and energetic abstract works. Artist Camille Hannah’s second solo exhibition ‘Stutter Speed’ has just opened showcasing her beautiful oil and acrylic works.

When one looks at her oversized works, one finds depth in the simple twist of what must be a very large brush. Upon looking up close it seems the paint is trapped between two surfaces. And this is indeed what has happened. Hannah paints on the back of perspex and then mounts this to aluminum. What this means is the viewer is given the rare opportunity to see what normally may be considered the process behind the painting. Although the audience can see the loose brushstrokes so intimately their size makes them feel imposing.

Caecus macula 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

Camille says that she is “interested in the photographic aesthetic that harnesses a unique experience of light, Hannah’s paintings have an ability to suggest movement yet with light’s imperceptible speed, a relationship between painting and digital technology that is one of seduction rather than production.”

Orexis (between Skins) 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

Camille Hannah is the recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Scholarship Award and is currently undertaking a Masters of Fine Art by research at the Victorian College of the Arts. This year Hannah was a finalist in the 2012 Wynne Prize.

Lachesis 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

In the second gallery space, Georgina Cue presents a series of delicate embroideries which upon first glance seem quite innocent. Upon closer inspection their dark side is revealed. Cue has reinterpreted early 20th century police photographs depicting the aftermath of cold-blooded murder and deaths in the grimy streets and gardens of New York. The title of the exhibition alludes to the small clues left in the scenes which point to the nature of the crimes committed.

Eos 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

Indicium investigates how in the absence of the victim’s body, our attention is deferred onto the obsessively captured peripheral detail of the scene. The monochromatic palette that has been used forces the audience to hone in on the detail without being distracted by colour. The forensic image can appear ‘...at once to be utterly mundane and yet charged with a surplus of meaning that eludes our visual inspection and so seems vaguely uncanny’. This effect is not unlike the typical Hitchcock technique where focus is given to mundane objects to heighten the viewers’ wariness.

Just like Hannah in the first gallery space, Cue’s process of thickly weaving the image into fly-screen reveals the makings of the frame. Perhaps she thinks there are enough mysteries in the subject matter itself to hide the makings of the work.

In the centre of the space Cue has created an embroidery which literally jumps out at the audience making it feel like you are part of the scene.

The Aleph 2012 Image from Nellie Castan Gallery 

Georgina Cue completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2011 and next year Cue will undertake an artist residency at the Flux Factory in New York.

Although both the exhibitions are very different, both reveal their process which I really enjoyed seeing for once!

Camille Hannah: Stutter Speed Georgina Cue: Indicum Nellie Castan Gallery Level 1, 12 River Street South Yarra, VIC 23 Aug - 15 Sep 12 Mon: Closed, Tue - Sat: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm, Sun: Closed

Lauren is graphic designer and founder of patchyrugs.com.au. She loves all things design (see her blog at blog.ilovelollies.net) and is particularly passionate about fine art, interior design and jewellery. Lauren is currently studying Gold & Silversmithing and doing graphic design on a freelance basis.