f Generation: Feminism, art, progression 

A few months ago I received a letter in the mail inviting me to take part in a letters exhibition at the George Paton Gallery at the University of Melbourne titled ‘f Genereation: Feminism, art, progression’ which was to be held between the 7-16 of October 2015 .

The letter explained that this unique exhibition will mark 40 years since International Women’s year in 1975 which was the year that the George Paton Gallery held a range of feminist art events including a pivotal lecture by renowned international artist and theorist Lucy Lippard. 1975 was also the year that the Women’s Art Register and Lip Magazine launched, two feminist resources that have played a critical role in the Australian feminist/art movement and which are still in operation today.

Co-curators of f Generation Veronica Caven Aldous, Dr Juliette Peers and Caroline Phillips looked to acknowledge, reflect and reconfigure this rich history as well as examine contemporary modes of provocation in feminist art practice. Needless to say I was thrilled to be asked to contribute and intrigued by the question we were asked to reflect on: How is feminism Important to you?  

The curators received a huge response to their letter of invitation and in the end the show included the work of over 80 Australian and international artists who responded with work across many mediums including: photography, video, painting, drawing, text, textile works, artists’ books, printmaking and performance. I am very proud to have two of my textile wall hangings included in this exhibition, even more so as this is the first time my textile works are being exhibited in a group show and I could not imagine a more fitting exhibition to be part of.

Below are the two tiny appliqué quilted hangings I contributed and here is the letter I wrote in response to the question How is feminism important to you? titled: F-is-for-FREEDOM


“Girls just want to have fundamental human rights” 50cm x 50cm (2015) made using new and recycled materials, machine appliqué quilting and hand embroidery.

“Feminist Killjoy XOXOX” 50cm x 350cm (2015) made using new and recycled materials, machine appliqué quilting and hand embroidery.

Further information on the exhibition f generation: feminism, art, progressions, George Paton Gallery and the launch at MUDFest can be found via the following links: www.facebook.com/pages/F-generation-feminism-art-progressions/811027382324243www.umsu.unimelb.edu.au/what-is-on/gallery/ | www.umsu.unimelb.edu.au/what-is-on/mudfest/

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My full PhD Confirmation Report

As promised here is my full PhD Confirmation Report, submitted in April 2015
as a PDF document:
Confirmation-Report-Tal-Fitzpatrick-2015

Alternatively, below is the Title/Research Question/Abstract for all those of you who “aint got time fo’dat!”

Research Title:                 Craftivism and the Political Moment

Research Question:         Can craftivism create Political Moments?

Sub Questions:

  • How is craftivism different from other forms of activism?
  • Can a material, craft based practice such as craftivism be understood as a socially engaged art?
  • In light of a post-political critique of participation is it possible to initiate political moments through socially engaged artistic practices?
  • How do feminist new materialist and post-humanist conceptions of agency and matter reshape our understanding of power and the potential of art to enact social change?

Abstract:

This practice-led research project is shaped by an artistic practice that plays in the spaces between craft, socially engaged art, activism, community development and autoethnography. It looks to explore how a particular style of figurative appliqué quilting might be used to initiate what philosopher Jacques Rancière describes as ‘political moments’ in a post-political environment. Through a series of creative case studies delivered in and with different community groups and organisations, this project will test the material-discursive potential of appliqué quilting to act as a socially engaged strategy for activism.

Importantly, this project doesn’t aim to develop a set of tools for leading revolutions or even to create a methodology where outcomes can be reliably repeated. Instead it looks to develop a practice based methodology for becoming more mindful of the patterns of consequential differences and of the overlapping ideas between: art, craft, activism, socially engaged practice, feminist new materialisms, post-political critique, post-humanism and community development theory.

However, if anyone actually does read my full report – I would love to hear your thoughts, feedback, reading suggestions, artists I should know about and constructive criticism. As always you can get in touch with me via email: tal.fitzpatrick@gmail.com

Finally – just for fun, below are some of my powerpoint slides from my PhD Confirmation presentation.

Cheers

Tal

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Decoration without Ornamentation

Margaret Preston is one of my all time favourite Australian artist. I love how bold and stylised her work its. Her focus on Australian flora and landscape. Her use of pattern and line. Her strength and individuality. The undeniable influence of the orient. Her shameless appropriation of Indigenous Australian Art. Her call to modernism in a conservative country. Her impulse for decorating…

“Decoration without ornamentation. Enough or too much, one of Preston’s many aphorisms, remained a primary objective and pre-occupation in her work. In 1913 she wrote to Australian artist, Norman Carter: I was very interested to hear of your decorative work – it’s the only thing worth aiming for this century – its really the key note of everything – I’m trying all I know to reduce my still lifes to decorations and I find it fearfully difficult.”

http://www.margaretpreston.info/life-work/
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