Doing Feminism, Women’s Art and Feminist Criticism In Australia by Anne Marsh.

In 2021, this important publication Doing Feminism by Anne Marsh was published and documents the Women’s Art and Feminist Criticism since the late 1960’s. It represents over 220 artists and groups with 370 colour illustrations in a large format book. The research and time taken to collate and archive this information is a major achievement and a huge addition to arts practice in Australia. I am very grateful to have been included in this dialogue.

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The Routledge Handbook of Translation and the City edited by Tong King Lee.

Rita Wilson wrote about my work Mother Tongue in Chapter 21, Sites of Translation in Melbourne.

Mother Tongue, 20 drawings, each titled after one of the 20 regions of Italy, pastel on paper, 345h x 616w cm, 2013. Alphabet sound component 4:63 minute loop, recorded and edited by Filomena Coppola and Robert Klarich, documentary film 15:29 minute loop, shot and edited by Robert Klarich and Filomena Coppola

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Transcultural Italies. Mobility, Memory and Translation

Transcultural Italies. Mobility, Memory and Translation. Edited by Charles Burdett, Loredana Polezzi, Barbara Spadaro, Liverpool University Press.

My work along with Luci Callipari-Marcuzzo and B. Amore is included in Loredana Polezzi’s chapter, From Substitution to Co-Presence: Translation, Memory, Trace and the Visual Art Practices of Diasporic Italian Artists. Loredana included my work Wallflower – Mirror, rorriM from 2011.

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Summer Solstice 2013 – 2021

Fish out of Water - Summer Solstice 2013 - 2021

Fish out of Water – Summer Solstice 2013 – 2021

Since 2013 I have been releasing a sardine painted rock on each Summer Solstice with the final release on December 21, 2021.  Each Rock became a marker of time, events and a personal talisman for each year. As the project has drawn to a close it is very much a time of reflection; achievements, losses, friendships, creativity, earth changes, devastation of fires, droughts, covid and the loss of a parent. Nine years mapped in this work, each year marked by the selection of a location, making time to explore that environment, a reflection on the year, a release and the bringing forth of hope for the year ahead. Both joyous and melancholic it has been a confronting and reflective process. The final release was at the location where my parents arrived in this country at Princes Pier in Port Melbourne.

Summer Solstice, Princes Pier, Port Melbourne, 21 December 2021

Summer Solstice, Princes Pier, Port Melbourne, 21 December 2021

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Earth Canvas – Looking at the Overlooked

Looking at the Overlooked is the artwork I made for the Earth Canvas Exhibition at Mildura Arts Centre, 8 October – 28 November 2021. I was paired up with Food Next Door Co-Op, a regenerative farm which works with the Burundian and Congalese communities in Mildura to create a work in response to their farming practices. (See previous post.)

Looking at the Overlooked, installation view at Mildura Arts Centre. Pastel and coloured pencil on paper, 70h x 250w cm

Looking at the Overlooked, installation view at Mildura Arts Centre. Pastel and coloured pencil on paper, 70h x 250w cm

This is the first time that I have incorporated coloured pencil with my pastel drawings to create even more detail and texture.The bugs in the middle panel reference the insects that are returning to the land once chemicals are no longer used and the soil is regenerated. The dragonfly, wanderer butterfly and earthworm are all directly connected with the farm and the return of insect which are not in competition with the produce. The cicada, as much as it is the sound of summer in Mildura, is a reference to Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), a German born naturalist and scientific illustrator who drew plants with specific interest in insects. The cicada is taken from one of her works, Branch of Pomegranate with Lnterfly and Cicada, 1702-03. It is a homage to her influence on my creative practice.

Looking at the Overlooked. Detail, Dragonfly, Cicada, Butterfly and Earthworm

Looking at the Overlooked. Detail, Dragonfly, Cicada, Butterfly and Earthworm

I included the Slant Faced Grasshopper, after Peter Webb, Grower’s Mentor at the Food Next Door Co-Op showed me a picture he had taken of the grasshopper on the farm. At that point I was not sure what kind of grasshopper it was. But I was so excited to include something so personal and specific in the drawing.

Looking at the Overlooked. Detail, Slant Faced Grasshopper

Looking at the Overlooked. Detail, Slant Faced Grasshopper

 

Images that I told whilst researching at Food Next Door Co-Op in the lead up to the creation of the work.

Food Next Door Co-Op - in progress

Food Next Door Co-Op – in progress

Food Next Door Co-Op - plantings

Food Next Door Co-Op – plantings

Food Next Door Co-Op - shed

Food Next Door Co-Op – shed

 

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Earth Canvas – Mildura Arts Centre, 8 October – 28 November 2021

The Earth Canvas exhibition has been touring regional galleries through out Victoria and New South Wales. There are seven core artists involved in the exhibition who were connected to regenerative farms.Rosalind Atkins – Wearn Family at Yammacoona, Little Billabong, Jo Davenport – Austin Family at Mundarlo, Mundarlo, Jenny Bell – Couglan Family at Mt Nara Narra, Holbrook, Idris Murphy, the Goghlan Family at Erimbla, Gerogery, John Wolseley – Gillian Sandbrook at Bibbaringa, Bowna, Janet Laurence – Rebecca Gorman and Family at Yapbtree West, Mundarlo and Tony Nott

Earth Canvas Catalogue

Earth Canvas Catalogue

 

Earth Canvas Catalogue

Earth Canvas Catalogue

At each regional location a local artist is invited to participate in the exhibition and is connected to a local regenerative farm. I was invited to participate in the exhibition at Mildura Arts Centre and was connected to Food Next Door who also administers the Out of the Box project

“Food Next Door matches under-utilised farmland with landless farmers to support small-scale regenerative farming, growing diverse crops & engaging people from diverse backgrounds to supply food to local households”.

Looking at the Overlooked, installation view at Mildura Arts Centre. Pastel and coloured pencil on paper, 70h x 250w cm

Looking at the Overlooked, installation view at Mildura Arts Centre. Pastel and coloured pencil on paper, 70h x 250w cm

I met with the farmers Joselyn Majambere and Joel Sindayingaya from the Burundian community and in particular Peter Webb, the Grower’s Mentor who worked on returning the land to its organic and biodynamic state. In speaking with Peter Webb I connected to the regeneration of the soil and the removal of chemicals which meant that many of the insects were returning to the earth and in particular the earth worms. I became really interested in how important the small things are to balance and nurture in the process of organic farming.

Artist Statement for Earth Canvas – Born in Mildura to Italian immigrant parents, artist Filomena Coppola’s practice extends from large pastel drawings to detailed miniatures through which she explores issues of cultural identity, place, connection to the feminine, mother earth and matriarchal lore.

Inspired by the work of Food Next Door and their connection with the Burundian and Congalese farmers who have added a new cultural richness to the Mildura region through food production, an aspect which is reflected in the Italian community of Mildura. The regenerative farming practices inspired Filomena to explore the complexity and richness that is returned to the land when farming and nature find equilibrium.

The farmers connect to the land as they nurture, sow care for and harvest produce, they sing; connecting to each other, the land, plants and animals. Her work Looking at the Overlooked explores natures response, beneath the wings of a bee we find butterflies, grasshoppers, lady beetles, dragon flies, cidadas and the important earthworm signifying health, balance, nature celebrating and being nurtured.

From the Earth Canvas catalogue – “In Australia, the way we produce food and fibre has come to rely increasingly on industrial principles of production. This approach has led to many environmental and human health losses.

Regenerative agriculture is emerging as an alternative approach. Its principles focus on the health of nature and the people, and on how all things are interconnected. It is more than sustainability; it is the active rebuilding oor regenerating of an ecosystem towards full health.

The Earth Canvas project invited contemporary artists to work on regenerative farms between the Murray and Murrumidgee rivers in southern New South Wales. The project aimed to link the artist’ perspective on land with the farmers’ management of the land. What was revealed was a mutal creativity of approach and deep empathy with the landscape.

This exhibition explores the experiences of both the regenerative farmer and the artist, their respective engagement with the land and their vision for a healthier world”.

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Covid Quilt – Ring of Steel, Lockdown 2, Victoria

This work is a direct response to the closed borders and the ring of steel that was imposed around metropolitan Melbourne. During this time I was in Mildura looking after elderly parents in a border community, where a bridge connected the town to New South Wales, and South Australia was only 100km away. I could return to my home in Melbourne, but the ring of steel would prevent me returning to Mildura should my parents require urgent attention. As restrictions eased for border communities my Melbourne address would prevent me crossing in to New South Wales. I was landlocked.

I did not post this last year and have posted it today as we are in the middle of – hopefully – a third “short sharp circuit breaker”, with Stage 4 restrictions across all of Victoria. This is Lockdown 3.0 in VIctoria.

Covid Quilt –  Ring of Steel (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

Covid Quilt – Ring of Steel (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

Covid Quilt – Ring of Steel (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

Covid Quilt – Ring of Steel (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

 

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Covid Hands

Home – not home. I left my home in Melbourne and travelled to Mildura before the first imposed lockdown to spend this time with my elderly parents. This work was made within the restrictions of this lockdown, the photographs are taken with my old iPhone and worked with needle and thread. Covid Hands is an observation of familial ties, of hands that work, create, nurture and support. Each of the twenty words is stitched into the photographs, across the hand in red thread. Red – representing the ancestral bloodline. Like a tattooed stigmata, these hands are marked by the words, in the same way that our corporeal bodies will carry an imprint of the trauma and isolation imposed by Covid-19.

This work was commissioned by Arts Mildura and exhibited in Home2020.

 

Covid Hands – Installation View. Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – Installation View. Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – family (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – family (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

 

Covid Hands – corona (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – corona (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

 

Covid Hands – culture(detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – culture (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

 

Covid Hands – touch (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – touch (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

 

Covid Hands – chance (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

Covid Hands – chance (detail). Red thread stitched onto photographic paper. 20 images each 25.5h x 20 w cm, overall dimensions 55h x 300w cm

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Covid Quilt – Pacing, Lockdown 2, Victoria

Covid Quilt – Pacing is a work made during Victoria’s second lockdown, a lockdown more isolating than the first, entered into still exhausted from Lockdown 1, and knowing as Victorians we were on our own. Not only in lockdown but with borders closed – disconnected. This work is a reflection of this time, pacing back and forth, waiting for numbers to drop, waiting for restrictions to lift, waiting for borders to open … waiting and pacing.

Covid Quilt – Pacing  (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2).

Covid Quilt – Pacing (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

Covid Quilt – Pacing  (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

Covid Quilt – Pacing (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 2)

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Covid Quilt – Spiral, Lockdown 1, Victoria

The spiral represents continuity, that even through this feels so new and extraordinary to us, we know that mother earth has experienced something like this before and moved through it. Shadowed by the spiral is the earth (our hemisphere) as seen from space. Graduating tonally from blood red to indigo – the colours of a bruise – a maker acknowledging the grief, restrictions and isolation that we are enduring.

This is a small work I made in response to the first lockdown in Melbourne for the instragram page @covid19quilt which organised and administered by Kate Just @katjustknits and Tal Fitzpatrick @talfitzpatrick.

Covid Quilt - spiral (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 1).

Covid Quilt – spiral (front) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 1).

 

Covid Quilt - spiral (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 1).

Covid Quilt – spiral (back) 15.5 x 15.5 cm, Cotton thread on paper, 2020 (Lockdown 1).

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