This month in Melbourne it is all about female artists. A solo exhibition by a young female artist Ruth O’Leary about her new life as a mother is being presented at C3 Art Space. A larger show at Neon Parc in Brunswick includes two established artists Mira Gojak and Elizabeth Newman, a formal pairing that sees organic large scale sculptural forms meld with paintings that vary from soft to dark hues. And finally, a group exhibition curated by Julia Murphy that examines the concept of our environment, both natural and constructed, through the work of six female artists being presented at The Honeymoon Suite. 


I.

Artist: Ruth O’Leary  
Exhibition: MILF  
Venue: C3 Contemporary Art Space, Abbotsford  
Dates: until November 19th, 2017  


Ruth O’Leary’s practice can most readily be described as autobiographical. She is the consistent subject of within her work, which employs her own body across performance, photography, video and painting. Her work is often labelled as feminist – perhaps because her practice is inherently performative her female form becomes an overt site of exploration. However, Ruth resists this label, partly due to feminisms cultural popularity in 2017 but, also, because it is limiting. It is about her, and she just so happens to be a woman. Ruth’s new body of work in the exhibition MILF has been created in the past months of her recent foray into motherhood. Her son Apollo was born less than a year ago and this new chapter of her life has brought with it powerful and unprecedented change to her life. MILF examines the relationship between a mother, an artist and her child. In this new body of work, which includes painting and photography, Ruth investigates her transgressive and enchanting experience of motherhood. 

Photo courtesy Ruth O’Leary.

Photo courtesy Ruth O’Leary.


II.

Artists: Mira Gojak and Elizabeth Newman  
Exhibition: Mira Gojak/Elizabeth Newman
Venue: Neon Parc, Brunswick  
Dates:  Until December 16th, 2017


This exhibition has been curated to tease out formal and conceptual concerns in each artists' work. Mira Gojak’s practice incorporates sculpture, installation, and drawing. Both her drawings and immersive three-dimensional sculptures are characterised by lyrical lines which convey a sense of rhythm and movement, whilst investigating form, volume and space. As such, she has described her work as bodily gestures that express the tension between two actions: to expand and extend out into the world, and to contract and retreat. Gojak exhibits two large sculptures which spread throughout the gallery space. Elizabeth Newman’s practice encompasses paintings, works on paper, photographs and ready-to wear garments. Featured in this exhibition are new paintings and fabric works. Her paintings question the parameters and definitions of the medium. They are opaque, deliberately being devoid of any subject matter or conscious intention, often engaging only with the language of painting itself, as while they refer to, and suggest traditions of modernist painting, they deliberately fail to live up to its perfection and enlightened ideals. 

Photo: Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman,Installation view. Courtesy of Neon Parc.

Photo: Mira Gojak / Elizabeth Newman,Installation view. Courtesy of Neon Parc.


III.

Artists: Thea Jones, Noriko Nakamura, Virginia Overell, Lucreccia Quintanilla, Ella Sowinska, Mashara Wachjudy  
Exhibition: everything spring
Curator: Julia Murphy  
Venue: The Honeymoon Suite, Brunswick  
Dates: November 18th, 2017   


everything spring is a group exhibition that consider the idea of our environment. Environment is understood here in an expanded sense, encompassing the spaces that we occupy in urban and constructed settings, and the ecology of the natural world. Social structures and dynamics are embedded within this conception of place. Reflecting upon our fragmented, often distracted relationships with out surroundings, and the fraught experience of attempting to understand global environmental change, the exhibition proposes the potential for renegotiating a more stable sense of place within our environment, through the practices of six local artists. The exhibition includes sculpture, photography and video work, made either from environmental materials or reflecting upon how artificially constructed our environments have become.  

Photo: Lucreccia Quintanilla, If you close your eyes you might see what is really there – Merri Creek Spring, 2017, sand, weeds, broken iPhone, clay and gouache and sound composition, dimensions variable. Courtesy of André Piguet and The Honeymoon Suite.

Photo: Lucreccia Quintanilla, If you close your eyes you might see what is really there – Merri Creek Spring, 2017, sand, weeds, broken iPhone, clay and gouache and sound composition, dimensions variable. Courtesy of André Piguet and The Honeymoon Suite.