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Devonport Regional Gallery in partnership with National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) Victoria is presenting, FEM-aFFINITY – an exhibition of female artists from Arts Project Australia and wider Victoria whose work share an affinity of subject matter, technique and process. Curated by Associate Professor, Catherine Bell from the Australian Catholic University. Bell seeks to uncover related variations of female identity and perspectives on historical feminist concepts by situating these female artists alongside each other.

Drawing upon interdisciplinary approaches, such as painting, printmaking, drawing, performance and photography, the exhibition also considers how artworks are a complex and nuanced way of thinking about embodied knowledge and how it aligns with identity politics explored in contemporary art.

The 14 exhibiting artists include Fulli Andrinopoulos, Jane Trengove, Dorothy Berry, Jill Orr, Wendy Dawson, Helga Groves, Bronwyn Hack, Heather Shimmen, Eden Menta, Janelle Low, Cathy Staughton, Prudence Flint, Lisa Reid, and Yvette Coppersmith.

“I’m a regular visitor to the Arts Project Australia gallery and have a particular interest in the work of the female artists who attend their studio, I have often considered the uncanny connections their work has with other female contemporary artists. I’m interested in highlighting the affinity. Curating a selection of past works by each artist demonstrates a sustained line of enquiry. The opportunity for the artists to collaborate and develop new work for the show celebrates these ongoing themes and connections”, says curator Catherine Bell.

“The collaborations between artists underpinning FEM-aFFINITY are supported by NETS Victoria”, as Shae Nagorcka, Exhibition Coordinator,  NETS Victoria says, “It is about fostering ongoing relationships, support and a stronger understanding of each of the artist’s work and this project has done this incredibly well. I’m sure these conversations will continue well past the exhibition.”

Exhibiting artists Yvette Coppersmith and Lisa Reid have painted portraits of prominent males in the arts, and their collaboration involved drawing male life models together. Meanwhile abstract artists Helga Groves and Wendy Dawson share a similar creative process of layering pigment and surface detail, and they worked in metallic mediums and continued to explore abstract patterns.

Heather Shimmen and Bronwyn Hack are inspired by gothic narratives, famous women in history, and the natural world. Their collaboration produced an exquisite corpse made up of multi-panel, lino prints that incorporate depictions of the body, flora and fauna.

Other collaborative responses evolved between artists Jane Trengove and Fulli Andrinopoulos, Janelle Low and Eden Menta and Prudence Flint and Cathy Staughton. Seminal art works by veteran artist Dorothy Berry, curated from the APA permanent collection, and art world legend Jill Orr, on loan from institutional collections, will also be included in the show. This paring reinforces their shared interest in birds as symbolic motifs in their respective practices and acknowledges their valuable contribution to Australian Art.

Arts Project Australia is a studio and gallery that supports artists with intellectual disabilities, promoting their work and advocating for inclusion within contemporary art practice.

Credit: Image by Eden Menta & Janelle Low, Eden and the Gorge 2019, ink-jet print, Courtesy of the artists. Eden Menta is represented by Arts Project Australia


Exhibition Opening: 24 January, 6pm

Exhibition Dates: 25 January – 15 March 2020

Available to interview:

  • Exhibition curator, Associate Professor Catherine Bell, Australian Catholic University
  • FEM-aFFINITY artists upon request

Contact NETS Victoria Shae Nagorcka, Exhibition Coordinator, [email protected] , T: 03 8662 1512  or M: 0432 692 184

FEM-aFFINITY is a NETS Victoria and Arts Project Australia Touring Exhibition

Media Contact:
Geoff Dobson Director
E. [email protected]
P. 6424 0577 M. 0419 505 838