Making Modernism

With TLN & Friends

  • Photography. Dakota Gordon

Art | August 8 2017

Earlier this month we were lucky enough to take a sneak peek at Making Modernism, an exhibition featuring works by Grace Cossington-Smith, Georgia Okeeffe and Margaret Preston now showing at AGNSW. The exhibition got us seriously  thinking about the significance of showing works by three female artists at an art institution like AGNSW and because we can’t think of anything better than talking about women and the politics of art we invited five of our friends along to join in the conversation, starting with Evi O.

For more information and tickets to Making Modernism now showing at The Art Gallery of NSW head to their website here. 

How did you get into painting? Did anything inspire your entry into artmaking?

My love affair with anything visual and creative started with drawings from a young age. I didn’t see it as something that I could turn into a career, it was a personal pursuit. I studied graphic design at university and have been practising design since then. Designing is fun, it’s problem-solving in an aesthetically pleasing way, but I missed exploring ideas without any particular goal, and that’s when I got into painting.

Can you tell us about female artist you find inspiring?

I admire Yayoi Kusama for her obsession with art, and a friend introduced me to Etel Adnan’s works a year ago and I find how her thinking and life philosophy influences the outcome of her art fascinating.

Can you tell us about an exhibition or an artwork you’ve seen that moved you?

In 2013, I saw a Walter de Maria room at Chichu Museum, Naoshima island and was totally blown away. It’s basically a giant concrete room, with a set of steps leading up to a giant black ball. Not describing it well, but it’s one of the most emotive pieces I’ve seen in life.

How do you feel about an exhibition with three women?

I believe art is always personal, so I love seeing the three women’s perspectives of the world, from their eyes from time that was so different from now. It’s time-travelling in the best possible way.

What are some of your favourite galleries to visit?

Hard to say, Sydney is great for gallery hopping, I can’t pick a favourite. Rather, I follow where my favourite artists show.

If you could pick two women to show your work alongside at AGNSW who would you choose and why?

Love the open brief. I would choose ceramic designer/artist Milly Dent, as we enjoy working together a lot. We’ll choose one of the white classic looking room on the main level. We’ll probably do a mix of 2D and 3D works, paintings and wall works. There will be forms and colours. There will also be a long table with chairs in the middle of the room where we showcase some dramatic functional vessels. I would then invite the rock and roll chef Christine Manfield to complete our table pieces with her mind blowing art-like desserts. We’ll invite some guests, then we can have a party while enjoying the art. I hope you’re asking this question so we can turn dreams into reality.

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