Vivienne Binns It is what it is what it is

16 March –
14 April 2018

Chris Carmody, Fiona Little & Dionisia Salas
Young Friends of the Artist
curated by Vivienne Binns

“It is what it is, what it is.”

Binns started her career with a dramatic exhibition held at Watters Gallery in Sydney in the 1960s. The show contained powerful sexual symbolism which was unexpected from a young woman, and is now seen as a precursor to 1970s feminist art. In the 70s she was active in the crafts and fought for improvements for women artists and conditions in the arts generally. From 1972 she evolved an art practice in communities throughout Australia, often working from a caravan in rural NSW, and the best known projects from this period are Mothers’ Memories Others’ Memories (1979-1981) and Full Flight (1981-1983). During the last thirty years her practice has focused on studio-based painting. Vivienne Binns – Art and Life, a survey exhibition of the artist’s fifty year career, was held at Latrobe University Museum of Art in 2012. In 2006 Merryn Gates curated Vivienne Binns’ Solo Survey, an exhibition to celebrate her 40 year career, initially shown at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery before touring across Australia. In 2008 Vivienne Binns (Touring Solo Survey) was exhibited at ANU Drill Hall Canberra. More recently, Binns has exhibited major works in Painting. More Painting, 2016 and currently Unfinished Business: Perspectives on art and Feminism, both held at ACCA, Melbourne. Binns is a finalist in this years Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize.

Chris Carmody’s work is born of the tension between the designed purpose of various found materials and the inconclusive meaning worn and faded into these materials through their life as objects. This meaning is teased out through the process of painting and assemblage – wherein materials and visual experience are transformed into the so-called ‘durable object’. His exhibited paintings refer to specific books found in university and state libraries, which through the process of fading have come to reveal something of their life as objects. In painting these he captures a moment of resonance, amidst an inevitable decomposition.

Carmody is an Australian artist, originally from Canberra, currently working in Central Australia. He has a combined Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Visual Arts with the Canberra School of Art (CSA) and Australian National University (ANU). He has held numerous solo exhibitions and group shows including at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and last year at tcb, Melbourne. He was the recipient of the Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS) Emerging Artist Support Scheme, Artist in Residence, 2010 and the Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award, 2012.

Fiona Little works in the field of abstraction making paintings and drawings that draw upon the influence of industrialisation and mass-production. Repetitive grids have formed the basis of her compositions which explore the basic nature of what painting is – paint applied to a flat surface using colour, texture, shape, line, space. Little creates her paintings through a process of layering, where time becomes a crucial element in the creative process. The idea of the machine has influenced her work in various ways; from using machine-made cloth with tartan designs as the ground on which to paint, to more recently employing a process of repetitive mark-marking through the artists hand, thus turning the artist into a machine.

Little lives and works in Canberra, where she graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Painting at the ANU School of Art. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across Australia including at M16 Artspace, Canberra and Watters Gallery, Sydney. Little has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Canberra Contemporary Art Space Studio Residency and Exhibition Award.

Dionisia Salas’ practice demonstrates an experimental investigation of a multitude of media. Combining silkscreen printing, painting, collage and burning techniques into paper surfaces, she examines formal design elements working with ideas of compression and dispersion. These new works are the result of a residency at The Art Vault in Mildura funded by Arts ACT for which Salas has explored the nature of wood in much the same way she had previously explored paper and collage, a process of cutting, carving, manipulating and marking to create pattern. It is the repeated form and pattern of her raw woodblocks that dictates her complex compositions. Salas’ rich patterning and saturated colour are inspired by inexpensive “domino” and “flocked” wallpaper prints of the 17th and 18th centuries, when hand coloured woodblock prints on rice paper replaced textiles and tapestries.

Salas graduated from the painting workshop of the ANU School of Art in 2007 and has since lived and practiced in Canberra, Melbourne and Berlin. She has received numerous grants and awards including the Torres Spanish Travel Scholarship for Young Australian Artists in 2008. Salas was the recipient of a 2017 Arts ACT project grant and participated in a residency at the Art Vault, Mildura that year.

Artist’s profile