Phyllis Palmer Gallery La Trobe University Gallery
‘Sorry my house is such a mess’ extends Catherine Pilgrim’s Mrs Larritt Series to build an exhibition ‘lab’ in the Phyllis Palmer Gallery. Echoing a domestic space steeped in history Catherine builds an environment in which to contemplate both presence and absence, care and control. Catherine brings the viewer a space to contemplate the comforts of home and yet the constraints of our history telling. The artist will be working on her meticulous drawings within the gallery including a direct wall drawing. Update – due to Covid19 Lockdowns the intended wall drawing has been produced on paper in the artist’s home studio and pinned to the gallery wall.
This show has been such a strange but ultimately good experience. Covid19 has meant the original dates shifted by about a year. When we finally did get the work up lockdowns meant the studio component didn’t really happen… and visitation is a complex proposal when we are needing to be aware of our movements - either by decree or choice. With about half the population of Australia currently in lockdowns (and many of us feeling the potential threat of lockdown) it seems somehow wrong to encourage people to get out to see the work in person.
And yet the experience of ‘dropping in’ to an art school environment has reminded me of the great pleasure of being surrounded by art school students and staff. This is a space where the majority of the audience are in the rich cocoon of their own creative development. It has been a great pleasure to visit.
The exhibition is proudly presented under the umbrella of the ‘Care Project’ https://www.careprojectnetwork.com/ and thus it is especially appropriate that I have been nurtured by the brief but lovely experience of being back in the ‘fold’ of an art school.
Care is central to many themes of the work – care as ‘women’s work’ during the Victorian era and now. Care for country as understood by Indigenous peoples and especially how I manage to convey that as a white fella. Care as paying attention – both to the issues of the day (including re-examining history) and the attention required in making the work.
At the core of it all, care for authenticity and integrity which seems particularly important in our current pandemic saturated world. May all stay safe and well as you care for yourselves and each other. x
Visual artist, drawing advocate, and mother of two red headed teenage boys.
Most recent solo exhibition 'Mrs Larritt' at 45 Downstairs, Melbourne opened Tuesday 29th October 2019 current to Saturday 9th November 2019. This was the second iteration of an earlier site specific exhibition 'Mrs Larritt in Upside Down Country' at Dudley House Bendigo which opened Saturday 17th November 2018