Vivienne Binns

17 November –
17 December 2011

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Vivienne Binns which furthers her interest in materiality and visual languages. In this new series of paintings Binns presents a detailed and complex layering of imagery that explores – and shifts between – ways of forming a surface; through pattern, form and chance. Paying rigorous attention to both the formal and metaphorical aspects of her canvasses, Binns has created a series of six, variously scaled paintings that exude energy and endless enquiry. Her subtle and layered works employ a visual language which mixes pictorial modes of representation with abstraction. The paintings range from patterned and chromatic clashes to a reproduction of a postcard from the 70s/80s which Binns has spent decades considering various ways to re-present. She has an ongoing interest in themes of the ordinary, the outsider and the social meaning of art; while also acknowledging that a lifetime of personal experience, knowledge and questioning consciously and unconsciously pervades each work she creates.

Binns came to prominence in the late 1960s and has established herself as a highly respected and astute artist within the Australian artistic landscape. Her early practice undertook a groundbreaking and provocative examination of womanhood and sexuality in Australia. Throughout the 70s she implemented a number of collaborative projects in rural communities, which saw her travel around country New South Wales in a caravan involving people in arts projects along the way. Having now returned to a focus on studio-based painting, Binns’ current work draws on the knowledge and experience she has gained during more than forty years of practice as a visual artist; especially her career-long engagement with abstraction. A major survey of Binns’ work was presented by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, in 2006, and subsequently toured to Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra; Penrith Regional Gallery, New South Wales; and Bathurst Regional Gallery, New South Wales.

Recent group shows include; Stick it!: Collage in Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2010; Something in the Air: Collage and Assemblage in Canberra Region Art, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra 2010; Time and Space: Art and Artist Run Spaces 1970 to Now, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney 2010; and Cross Currents: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2007. Binns has also participated in significant local and international exhibitions such as Vision in Disbelief, 4th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 1982; Eureka, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK 1982; and Australian Perspecta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 1981. Her work is held in major museums and collections throughout Australia, including Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. In 1983 Binns received the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her service to art, craft and community. She was also the recipient of the Ros Bower Memorial Award in 1985 for ‘Visionary Contribution to Community Art’. In 1990 she received an Australian Artists Creative Fellowship and is one of very few Australian artists to be awarded this highly prestigious Fellowship. More recently, Binns received a Capital Arts Patron Fellowship in 2003 and was a finalist in the 2009 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, National Gallery of Victoria: The Ian Potter Centre, Melbourne.

Artist’s profile