Deep inside my heart brings together new acquisitions and key works from the national collection by major women artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, exploring representations of the figure across sculpture, drawing and related disciplines. The exhibition features work by Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Spero, Ana Mendieta, Lynda Benglis, Marlene Dumas, Kiki Smith, Bronwyn Oliver, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and I Gusti Ayu Kadek Murniasih. These artists' works refer to a key period of the 1980s when representations of the body were used to assert politics, gender and identity.
Taking its name from Bourgeois' and Emin's collaborative work Do not abandon me, acquired by the National Gallery in 2020, Deep inside my heart also includes Smith's tapestries Sky, Earth and Underground, as well as an extraordinary group of early sculptures by the late Oliver.
The exhibition continues to build on the National Gallery’s Know My Name initiative which celebrates the work of all women artists with an aim to enhance understanding of their contribution to Australia’s cultural life.
Curator: Lucina Ward, Senior Curator, International Art
Quote: Joyce Beckstein and Kiki Smith, ‘Personal curiosity: a conversation with Kiki Smith’, Sculpture, vol 35, no 2, March 2015, p 27.
Works of Art
Chained to the bed for 15 years
Deep inside my heart
My garden 1