Morphing figures, performing bodies and pop icons populate Bodywork, an exhibition that brings together mid-career Australian artists Amber Boardman (NSW), Tarryn Gill (WA) and Kaylene Whiskey (SA).
Featuring soft sculpture, painting and video, Bodywork focuses on the body as a site for experimentation and self-expression, while exploring ideas connected to body modification, the cult of celebrity, and female empowerment.
Creating her largest works to date, Perth artist Tarryn Gill has made a series of contorted, multi-limbed soft sculptures that relate to her recent experiences in Java, where she encountered the winding forms of the colossal Trembesi trees. Gill, who has a background in competitive calisthenics, draws on the material language of dance and musical theatre costuming. Her new works merge tree forms with feminine bodily contortion to continue her exploration of the uncanny body.
Living in the remote Aboriginal community of Indulkana in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in north-west South Australia, Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey is rapidly gaining national acclaim for her joyous, detailed paintings of strong kungkas (women). Clad in sequinned outfits and thigh-high boots, Dolly Parton, Tina Turner, Cher and Whiskey perform songs on ‘Kaylene TV’, dance and enjoy mingkulpa (native tobacco) parties.
American-born, Sydney-based artist Amber Boardman is a painter with a background in animation. Her paintings abound with morphing, leaking and conjoined bodies, being put through acts of extreme self-care or participating in mass social rituals. She approaches her subjects with a complex blend of humour, criticality and empathy, while examining internet-based beauty ideals and the pressures of conformity. Her impasto painting technique and fleshy palette give a sense of visceral corporeality and a blurring of the body’s boundaries.
Bodywork is curated by Erin Coates, FAC Special Projects Curator
Image credit: Amber Boardman, Be Your Own Plastic Surgeon, 2018, oil on polyester, 91 x 71cm