2018 Elementals

Elementals, exhibited in This Wild Song, Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn. 1 September – 21 October, 2018. This new series of works was exhibited as part of Ilona Nelson’s project, This Wild Song at Hawthorn Town Hall. The exhibition featured 26 portraits of female artists along with their artwork. Such a powerful commitment to the representation of women in the arts and it was an honour to be part of this exhibition.

Filomena Coppola has been exploring the issues of identity, place, the role of women and finding a sense of belonging. Born in regional Victoria to Italian immigrants she explores cultural duality and the space between. Elementals searches for a sense of place and identity, which feels more inclusive. For Coppola, this was a connection with the feminine, mother earth and matriarchal lore. Elementals engages with an awareness that we are part of this turning world and our imprint does have a cumulative affect. She asks us to walk barefoot and become aware that we are part of a continuous cycle of birth, life, death and regeneration. We physically embody the elements, are surrounded by them and need to be responsible contributors to this continuum.

Elementals connects with Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Spirit, both in nature and in a personal context. This work has forced Coppola out of the studio to engage with the environment, visiting places important to her and to examine the notion of time, as her attempts to capture the photographs were thwarted by nature herself. Reminding Coppola that lineal time are of no concern to the elements and the natural movement of the seasons. The pebble forms are made from petrified redgum which are carbon dated to between 5000 and 9000 years, sourced from the Murray River and painted with a Murray Cod – this river meanders through her town of birth. Elementals is a reminder that we inhabit a small moment in time, yet how we utilize this is critical to what we leave behind.