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Three Female Artists Take on Contemporary Social Themes

Three Female Artists Take on Contemporary Social Themes
in Three Thrilling Exhibitions.

Three unique exhibitions open at Depot Artspace on 10 November, each of which addresses the prominent themes of identity, consumerism and societal norms.

Memory for $ale is Jacqueline Macleod’s exploration of female online identity, questioning how networked technologies influence women and the relationships women have with each other. Displaying finely detailed, de-constructed portraiture and digital prints of people who have never actually existed; Macleod’s focus on the effects of digital media within female identity challenges our reliance on and captivation with technology.

“To have the ability to stay connected to each other, intimately and with empathy in a constant 'on demand’ digital world is not only important but inherently vital to the survival and communion of future generations and our natural world”, say Macleod, “Portraiture is personal. It’s not a passive thing, when you see a portrait painting, it’s like meeting another person”.

Macelod’s eagerness to dissect the notions associated with digital female identity, such as ‘groups’, online ‘friends’, social online discourse and the forming of self is at once confronting and apt, highlighting the aesthetic and economic relationship that exists between the virtual and physical life. Much of Macleod’s work to-date has consisted of figures that interact with a combination of oil painting and digital work and more recently sculpture.

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In keeping with the notion of identity and self-representation Solace in Familiar Things by Devonport based artist Robyn Gibson, explores our indulgent consumerist society where the products designed for an apparently innocent domestic market are often, ironically, the source of human suffering.

Gibson’s paintings observe characters in relation to a love for objects we so greedily consume and yet so readily dispose of. Oddly these objects become the accessories of our identity. Gibson makes sense of this anomaly by animating these objects and instilling in them characteristics that evoke emotional responses.

“I’ve always done assemblage. Right back to art school I was heavily influenced by Joseph Cornel then. Assemblage is a real freedom. I’ve been collecting this stuff for years and years, as you do, you go to the op shop and see something and think this is fantastic I will use that one day. I'm always curious about what people throw out”, explains Gibson.

Solace in Familiar Things is a thought-provoking collection of Gibson’s work in various media, including painting, sculpture, and drawing, all of which raise significant questions about our apparently consumer-driven society.

French New Media artist Beatrice Carlson also addresses the issue of identity by challenging us to rise above the social constraints of prescribed fashion trends. As Carlson explains, “As a woman, a foreigner, a non-English speaking person, a fashion designer; my most recent work talks about identity. By trying so hard to identify ourselves, trying to fit in a group, to stick to an image, we are losing our uniqueness, our playfulness, our identity”. In Unwearable: 2010 – 2017 WOW Retrospective, Carlson exhibits her last 7 entries into the infamous World of Wearable (WOW) Arts Awards, plus a selection of her jewellery design, accessory design and drawings.

Carlson’s WOW garments are heavily influenced by Pasifika and New Zealand themes and motifs, which essentially stem from the deep affinity and sense of belonging she feels for her adopted country of New Zealand. From her early fascination with fashion at the young age of 5, Carlson’s impressive assortment of work in a diverse range of media, reflect the natural evolution of her art and design skill.

Depot Artspace is thrilled to be hosting these three outstanding exhibitions by three influential New Zealand female artists, each addressing significant contemporary social themes through their personal practice.

Memory for $ale, Solace in Familiar Things and Unwearable: 2010 -2017 WOW Retrospective open on Friday 10 November, 6pm – 8pm, at Depot Artspace, 28 Clarence Street, Devonport, Auckland.

All three exhibitions run from Friday 10 November – Wednesday 29 November 2017, in the Main Gallery and Vernacular Lounge.


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