Hard as bricks

FIVE female artists will pull down physical and metaphorical walls at Pakenham Street Art Space this month.

When US-born artist Laura Mitchell and Fremantle artist Tania Ferrier talked about having a group exhibition they weren’t sure about the subject matter. Then Donald Trump came along.

“As an American, Trump’s Mexican wall was embarrassing,” Mitchell says.

“It became a global preoccupation: a frenzy around walls and the question of the other.”

Ferrier says it was “a pin prick of an idea” that would form the basis of Destabilising Walls, a kaleidoscope of paintings, sculptures and installations.

• Gale Thakeray’s Hybrid is one of the thought-provoking paintings in Destabilising Walls. Images supplied

Ferrier’s paintings explore social and gender inequality, and question whether the wall operates as a gatekeeper of inclusion and exclusion.

Sarah Robinson’s etched steel, felt and digital instillation is a nod to the building’s former use as a wool store.

“The wall is a metaphor for the dynamic between its use,” she says.

Annette Nykiel examines the rich-poor divide and the rampant consumerism that fuels it.

Mitchell’s work touches on the same theme and has cut-out figures lining the wall, bathed in projections and shadows.

• One section of Laura Mitchell’s Opportunities Galore Sketch.

“It explores the nature of hyper-consumerist desire, and its attempt to fill the lack of meaning or void in our lives,” she says.

Gale Thackery’s paintings re-evaluate gender roles in the household, and critiques the division between the painter and the painted object.

The exhibition includes a forum on creating a female artist collective – tentatively named the Women’s Perspective – hosted by artist provocateur Dr Nicola Kaye, a lecturer at Edith Cowan University.

Destabilising Walls is at the PSAS on Pakenham Street until August 31 and the forum is on Saturday (August 25) at 1pm.


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