GPG Exhibition Program
The historic George Paton Gallery is presenting its last semester's program in its Union House location before moving to a new gallery in the New Student Precinct in second semester.
Our last semester in the original GPG celebrates the wonderful history of feminist activity in the gallery from 1974 to today. Six young curators will work with peer artists to investigate our extensive archive of feminist exhibitions and engagements, as well exploring the physical 'skin' of the GPG venue in their exhibition installations.
Download George Paton Gallery program here
GPG PROGRAM SEMESTER ONE 2022
GEORGE PATON GALLERY | LEVEL 2 UNION HOUSE
HOURS OPEN 11am - 5pm MONDAY TO FRIDAY
16-27 May 2022
Opening event: 5-7pm Thursday 19 May
MAIN GALLERY: When you think about feminism, what do you think?
George Paton Gallery: Feminisms 1975-2022
Curated by Emma Shaw and Sandra Bridie
Women's Art Register, setting up shop in the GPG
Coordinated by Caroline Phillips, Women’s Art Register
In 1975, the George Paton Gallery sent out a call for responses to the question, When you think about art what do you think? In celebration of Kiffy Rubbo and Meredith Roger's 'ideas shows' and the GPG's long association with the Women's Art Movement, GPG: Feminisms 1975-2022 looks at the history of feminist engagement in the activities of the George Paton Gallery from the 1970s to today. The exhibition reviews the nature of the various feminisms that have emerged over the past 50 years and where they sit in today’s climate.
By opening a call for responses to the question, When you think about feminism, what do you think? this exhibition seeks to engage these conversations in a democratic, inclusive way that has not always been the hallmark of feminist history. The exhibition’s goal has been to encourage a diverse array of voices and responses, demonstrating the plurality of contemporary feminisms rather than imposing a singular narrative. Consequently, the artworks on display represent the artists’ individual responses, rather than the curators’ overarching views, and we encourage you to consider and discuss your own reactions to the work and to the question, When you think about feminism, what do you think?
Link to exhibition gallery sheet with all artist's works listed
TOP Lucy Lippard visits the GPG, July 1975
Photo by Sue Ford, George Paton Gallery Collection, University of Melbourne archives
Women's Art Register: Setting up shop in the GPG
Following a series of women-only exhibitions and meetings at the Ewing (now George Paton) Gallery in 1974 and 1975, Director Kiffy Rubbo and Co-Director Meredith Rogers met with artists Lesley Dumbrell and Erica McGilchrist, to discuss setting up an archive of women’s art. Amidst the energy and activism of that International Women’s Year, the group put a call-out to contemporary women artists to each submit two slides of their work. They quickly received 160 slides - shown at a screening in September that year - and in short order the Women’s Art Register was born.
Their aim was to address a stunning lack of women artists represented in educational materials and across the canon of art history. It also quickly became an active (and activist) community that provides opportunities and a supportive peer network for otherwise marginalised artists. The initial collection was housed and administered at the George Paton Gallery until 1979, when it was relocated to the Carringbush (now Richmond) Library - a valuable relationship brokered by Anna Sande - where it still lives today. The Women’s Art Register is now the longest running, artist-run archive of women’s art practice in the world and is designated a Collection of National Significance.
Since its inception the Women’s Art Register has compiled educational kits for use in schools and libraries throughout Australia. Over the decades, this grassroots, living community of contemporary artists has undertaken research, published a bi-annual magazine (The Women’s Art Register Bulletin), and produced a number of major exhibitions and projects to educate and inform broad audiences, support its community of members, and advocate for women’s art and artists. We now reinhabit this site to collaborate with George Paton Gallery once more for this historic Feminisms exhibition. We have temporarily set up shop, continuing our work of archiving works from the past and the present, sharing the narratives and images of thousands of women artists, and amplifying their voices.
Link to exhibition room sheet
Tuesday, May 17, 2-4 pm
Slideshow and discussion, with works from the Women’s Art Register
Tuesday, May 24, 2-4 pm
Wikipedia Edit-a-thon - Informal Session
(BYO laptop and resources available)
1978 WAR logo designed by Erica McGilchrist
Volunteers Leia Alex and Patsy Brown, working in the Women’s Art Register archive, 2020
Photo by Caroline Phillips
Monash University student viewing WAR slide kit, 2018
Photo by Caroline Phillips
PAST EXHIBITIONS 2022
23 February to 4 March
Gabrielle Bergman, Ellyn Faye, Jack Murray and Anna Steele
Curated by Gabrielle Bergman
Documenting Space provides an examination of both the physical and historical conditions of the George Paton Gallery within the context of its location at Union House. It will exhibit work from an artist, an architect, and an interior designer, all of which have a unique and sensitive approach to the observation, documentation, design, and intervention within spatial environments.
Upload exhibition catalogue here
Archive in Play
Linda Studena experiments with photography, print, drawing and assemblage to explore the symbology of common objects, based on her interest in the socio-political dimensions of personal, historical and living archives. Archive in Play presents a series of works using methods of recording, erasure, and disruption that generate new associations of place, memory and time.
IMAGE Linda Studena, Cross Section Cabbage. Oil paint on ceramic, 2021
Bella Froebel, Ebony Hoiberg, Emily King, Maddie Mo, and Caitlin Aloisio Shearer
Curated by Steph Markerink
Domesticated is a multi-disciplinary group exhibition which playfully explores intersections between domesticity and feminism. The exhibition examines the politics and emotion of domestic spaces, represents contemporary uses of traditional ‘feminine’ crafts, and touches on the history of the George Paton Gallery as a hub for feminist artists in the 70’s.
IMAGE Bella Froebel, Underneath. Digital photograph, 2018
23 March to 1 April
The worst thing that can happen to a cake is to find a hair in it. What do you get when you overknead dough? Bread Cake is a search for structure in non-rational semantics, pushing quiet domestic transgressions to absurd conclusions.
IMAGE Siro Cavaiuolo, Bread Cake. Digital photograph, 2021
oiled and covered and never mentioned
Skye Malu Baker, Cade Burgess, Wandi Cao, and Claudia Saballa Hobbs
Curated by Cade Burgess
Exhibition catalogue here
Four artists develop their exploration of shame and feminism established in 2021 virtual exhibition ERINYS, alongside guest artist Claudia Saballa. oiled and covered and never mentioned presents multidisciplinary artwork in response to PRAWNS DE JO, a poem by Selima Hill.
IMAGE Wandi Cao, Room 1616. Photograph, 2021
A Geography of Moments
Every day I wake up around 3 am. I crack open a chocolate bar for breakfast, and as I tare the foil, the day starts. A person in transition looks for a safe place to be. It takes time to feel at home. However, rituals create familiarity. I rescue the foils because they represent this moment of safety and calm and place them on the wall as a memory of the day. They create a map, a geography of moments. The silver shine reflects the value of every moment, and the foil’s fragility represents the absurdity of safety.
IMAGE Christina Darras, A Geography of Moments. Rescued chocolate foils, 2021
Lily Baxter, Eliza Cullen, Lauren Johnston, Ellie Murtagh, Liana Prosia, Lilly Skipper, Madelaine Sloane, Shelley Spangler
Curated by Lilly Skipper
Artists negotiate the motivating forces that drive and decompose movement and flexions. This elastic force of the body and material alike, is determined in hardness and fluidity. Comparatively, works consider the finite body to the infinities of material through the cohering, unifying parts forming the tunic of The Fold.
Please click here for exhibition catalogue
IMAGE Lily Baxter, Eliza Cullen, Lauren Johnston, Ellie Murtagh, Liana Prosia, Lilly Skipper, Madelaine Sloane, Shelley Spangler, The Fold. Digital photograph, 2021
27 April to 6 May
Link to video documentation of project
BELOVED is both a durational performance piece and an archive of found text. Using frottage (the practice of rubbing graphite on paper across a textured surface), the word “beloved” has been taken from hundreds of gravestones in the Melbourne General Cemetery. This piece began during the first prolonged lockdown in Victoria last year, as part of my (Unofficial) Artist Residency at the MGC. When walking the grounds, I was struck by how this word is – by far – the most repeated descriptor in the epitaphs.
The work operates at the intersection of the Concrete Poetic and the performative, expanding on my practice by exploring notions of touch, time, ritual and labour with regards to text. The process was originally informed by my background in hand-lettering; before photography, typographers used frottage as a common method of “lifting” different letterforms from signage when they travelled. Here, the performance of collecting text seeks to complicate the binaries of authorship and plagiarism. The physical gesture is part of a long genealogy of expressive mark-making, however it is also a deeply uncreative act; stealing the word/image from the surface below.
This archive is a work in progress (currently consisting of over 400 rubbings). The collection constitutes an experiment in writing a book with only one word.
Click on the videos below to view:
Venus in Tullamarine
Nicholas Currie, Cat Lawrance, and Katie Paine
Curator, Cameron Hurst
Catalogue editor, Jeremy George
Plus Venus in Tullamarine Symposium convened by: Jeremy George & Cameron Hurst with speakers Professor Ian McLean, Cameron Hurst, Ursula Cornelia de Leeuw and Jeremy George
Friday 6 May 1-5pm
Link to symposium booking here
Famed for the outlandish classic The Magic Pudding, the legacy of Norman Lindsay — anti-modernist, author, libertine and, most importantly, artist — continues to cast a long, shifting shadow over Australian art and cultural history. In Venus in Tullamarine, key works from the University’s Lindsay collection are exhibited alongside responses from student artists. For a new generation of art historians and artists looking at 20th century Australian art, who is Norman Lindsay?
IMAGE Norman Lindsay, Untitled – (the Procession), detail. Lithograph, 27.9cm x 40.2cm. University of Melbourne Art Collection. Courtesy of A., C. and H. Glad, c. 190