The approaches of contemporary women artists in this space are incredibly diverse. Yet their work is brought together by the fact that they have a shared concern with process, with the physicality of the art object and with the idea that the experience of art can be transformative.
Many artists working with photography are rediscovering the magical pleasures and beauty of photography’s traditional processes. The highly abstracted images and seductive surfaces of Jacky Redgate’s and of Justine Varga’s hand-printed colour photographs remind us of art’s capacity to take us to other places. Jan Nelson’s refined, vibrant portraits of adolescents combine an internal awareness of her subjects along with a sense of their connections with contemporary technology. Sally Smart’s major chalkboard installation contemplates how art and performance can be seen as a communion between artist and audience. Her use of text intersects with Dada-inspired puppets, video and dancers in an experience that engages with notions of the body, display, performance and philosophy.
Art often mirrors major issues that confront the world. Questions about power and those who wield it can be found at the heart of eX de Medici’s intricate watercolours and her remarkable Shotgun wedding dress/Cleave, especially commissioned for this space, and in Kate Just’s Uniform dad. Alternatives to aggression are also offered in Just’s giant knitted hedge Boundary (LOVE).