On Sunday I headed off to White Canvas Gallery in the Valley to see the show 6 degrees. On display was the work of five female Brisbane artists, connected by their common mentor Majena Mafe. I was so glad that I made the effort, as this was really one of the strongest shows I’ve seen in a long time.
All the work had a powerful and positive feminine energy, supported by layers of conceptual rigour. It felt as if the artists had delved deeply within themselves to create works that were soulful, emotional, complex and yet spoke with clarity about their individual concerns.
Kate Cooke’s sewn mesh sculpture and evocative shadows spoke of the constraints placed on women, and strongly referenced drawing with its use of line and tone.
Above: Kate Cooke
Mela Fitzgibbon embroidered pointed feminist commentary on gorgeous pink silk, which cascaded luxuriously from the wall.
Natasha’s brightly coloured and multi-layered paintings were rich with detail and time spent devoted to the recording of personal narrative.
Above: Natasha Narain
Sandra’s feminine basket forms were wrapped in fleece like a mother’s arms. At first glance they speak of holding in a way that is sublimely gentle and nurturing, but on closer inspection questions are raised. Is that tendril penetrating the basket form? Is this a loving or menacing embrace?
Above: Sandra Pearce
Ann Russell created amazing bricolage, exploring mythical worlds and characters, like the one above, Ariadne'’s Orb. You can see Ariadne, the spider if you click on the photo to enlarge it. I’m not often a fan of bricolage, but these pieces were constructed so sensitively while still with a definite nod to outsider art, that they managed to be both fun and beautiful as well as having a story to tell.
The artists have also put together an extensive catalogue of their work, 6 degrees, available on Blurb, which is a great idea I think.