Spotlight is a new feature on umsuwomyns.com where we’ll post info on artists/events/organisations/whatever to help promote great work that wom*n are doing around Melbourne and elsewhere.
What better than to start with something happening right on our doorstep: young female artist Owl Eyes performing a free gig at uni tomorrow.
1pm-2pm, Tuesday 3 April
North Court, ground floor, Union House
Come along and show your support of women artists!
From the UMSU website: A striking duality reveals itself when listening to Owl Eyes, talented 20-year-old Brooke Addamo. Her songs, on the surface lush and beautiful, evoke images that could only exist in the imagination of such a fertile young mind. Yet, underneath these surreal daydreams, something very real is happening. Addamo’s tales are underpinned by the innermost thoughts of a young woman trying to figure it all out, desperately seeking out human connection.
In case you haven’t heard, we have an fantastic project happening right now in the Wom*n’s Room. Amy’s brilliant efforts ensured we had a freshly painted and steam cleaned room all ready for 2012. And so on that seemingly new slate we were very lucky to be able to commission an amazing local street artist to paint a mural for us and bring some colour back to the room. Below I’ll intersperse pictures of the mural coming to life with our reasons for wanting to do this.
The clean (but still messy!) women's room
They even painted the bookshelves!
- It is part of our aim to attract many more students to the room.
- We want to appeal to all students, and so are aiming to create a room with a wide mix of visual influences – we want an interesting and professional looking room.
Beginning the mural
- The repainting that was just done has unfortunately resulted in lots of the artwork/writing created on the walls by previous users of the room being covered over, and we don’t want to ‘whitewash’ the room.
- Our department aims to utilise our budget both efficiently and, as much as possible, by supporting independently working women. In this case, we are choosing to support a female graffiti/street artist who works in an ‘industry’ that is heavily male dominated, and also lacks any formal efforts at working towards, or monitoring of, diversity. Where we do contract women, we aim to pay them in accordance with their skill level and time, as too much work by women is underpaid, or not paid at all.
- Due to art generally and street art specifically being male dominated, we believe it is important to support and display women’s art. Providing a wall for a female artist is an incredible way to achieve this. We are also more generally supporting Melbourne’s street art scene through this project.
More colours and line work added
When we get the rest of the room tidied up, the new couches installed, and a few more bit and pieces sorted out the room is sure to look amazing. Hope you come by and check it out!
View from the doorway
My Pie Town is a project by Debbie Grossman, who reworks and re-imagines a body of images originally photographed by Russell Lee for the United States Farm Security Administration in 1940. Using Photoshop to modify Lee’s pictures, Grossman created an imaginary, parallel world – a Pie Town populated exclusively by wom*n (editor: only white wom*n though it would seem). The images are revised in subtle ways, making the reading of them very complicated and compelling. The sixteen images in the series are both color and black and white, and are all based on Lee’s unpublished series on Pietown, a homesteaded community in New Mexico.
The original photographs are available either through the Library of Congress or through the Web. Grossman says of the project “I’ve begun to think of Photoshop as my medium – I’m fascinated by the fact this it shares qualities with both photography and drawing… I enjoy imagining My Pie Town working as its own kind of (lighthearted) propaganda”.
Check out an amazing photography project, ‘A Series of Questions’, at L. Weingarten’s site:
“This ongoing body of work explores the power dynamics inherent in the questions asked of transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and gender-variant people…
The subjects hold signs depicting questions that each has had posed to them personally— some by strangers, others by loved ones, friends, or colleagues. Presented on white wooden boards, the questions are turned on the viewer, shifting the dynamics under which they were originally asked, and prompting the viewer to cast a reflective, self-critical eye upon themself, revealing how invasive this frame of reference can be.”
These are just a few examples of the photos in the project.
“As a greater number of subjects and questions are accumulated, a relentless conversation of questioning emerges. Attention is directed not on the backgrounds of the transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, or gender-variant subjects, but on the dynamics at work in these conversations.”