Viewed as anticipating the Feminist art movement, Vivienne Binns early career was defined by images of powerful sexual symbolism and activism. During the last thirty years Binns practice has focused on studio-based painting. Her work explores what it means to be an artist in Australia with local and European histories, specifically engaging cultures within the Asia Pacific region. Her abiding interests are the function of art making as a human activity, which occurs in all social groups, and the manifestations of this throughout these communities. This is especially visible in Binns’ use of patterning and surface treatments, which connect historical art movements to domestic or familiar imagery.
Select solo exhibitions: It is what it is what it is, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; New Work, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, 2014; Vivienne Binns – Art and Life, Latrobe University Museum of Art, 2012; Everything New is Old Again, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; A Symphony of Uncertainties: In memory of Unknown Artists and Scenes of Popular Reverie, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra, 2007; Vivienne Binns’ Solo Survey, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 2006; Vivienne Binns: Twenty First Century Paintings, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney, 2004.
Select group exhibitions: Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2020; Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art & Feminism, ACCA, Melbourne, 2018; Painting, More Painting, ACCA, Melbourne, 2016; Pop to Popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2015; Lurid Beauty, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2015; Temperament Spectrum, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Stick it!: Collage in Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2010; Cross Currents: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2007.
The tapa patterns ebbs and flows and may stray a long way from its origin. It overlays other images and forms, sometimes like a reverse colonisation but having the possibility for me of many comparisons and interpretations…Because it is based on a grid formation, it evokes to European eyes, gridded surfaces which have different purposes and are differently concerned with meaning.Vivienne Binns, 1995