I hope you get this: Raquel Ormella

SAM Raquel OrmellaWorks reflecting on the intersections of art and activism by one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Raquel Ormella, will be exhibited at Shepparton Art Museum from 26 May 2018 in I hope you get this: Raquel Ormella.

Raquel Ormella employs a wide variety of media, including video, painting, installation, drawing, textile, paintings and zine production. I hope you get this features some of her seminal early works, alongside more recent textile and text-based works, and new commissions. The exhibition reveals Ormella’s experimental relationship with textiles and a playful exploration of semiotics, critical hallmarks of her sustained practice.

Curated by SAM Director, Dr Rebecca Coates, and SAM Senior Curator Anna Briers, the survey exhibition will feature four significant bodies of work within the artist’s oeuvre, as well as a site-responsive commission. Through her use of text and symbols, notably in her intricate embroidery work, Ormella invites audience members to engage with issues of nationalism, political activism and environmental intervention.

Dr Coates described the exhibition as a timely appraisal and recognition of Ormella’s achievements following her previous selection in a number of significant international biennials and major temporary exhibitions, from Sydney to Shanghai and Nagoya, Japan.

Bringing earlier works now in the Collections of some of Australia’s major collecting institutions, together with some of her more recent projects and newer commissions, audiences will be able to see the sheer breadth of her practice, and her deep and sustained engagement with themes and ideas of our times.

“Social and environmental activism; human and animal relationships; nationalism and national identity; feminism and political identity are recurrent themes which Ormella consistently explores,” said Dr Coates. “An integral part of the way Ormella works is to become involved with, or imbedded within, grass-roots organisations and interest groups engaged directly with the issues she is exploring.”

“This has extended from time spent with the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, more recent works made in response to trade union movements and strike actions, or the connections she has forged with birdwatcher groups run by U3A in the Goulburn Valley region over the course of the development of this exhibition.”

“Ormella’s works aim to stimulate contemplation, connection and engagement with issues of our times, without making her own position necessarily explicit. Very often, the materials she uses are things that we all have at home, or for the hoarders amongst us, in some of our cupboards.”

“The title of this show, I hope you get this refers not only to her own position within the works, but also to our reading of these various subjects. She invites visitors to engage, to reflect, and bring their own understanding and experiences to the show at the same time,” added Dr Coates.

Raquel Ormella has a diverse practice that includes video, installation, drawings, and zines. Ormella works at the intersections of art and activism. She investigates the means by which critical reflexivity in contemporary art encourages processes of self-examination regarding political consciousness and social action.

Recent solo exhibitions include: Golden Soil, Milani Gallery (2016); Birds, School of Art Gallery – ANU, Canberra (2013); New Constellation, Milani Gallery (2013); and Feeders, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, ACT (2012).

I hope you get this: Raquel Ormella
Shepparton Art Museum, 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton
Exhibition: 26 May – 12 August 2018
Free admission

For more information, visit: www.sheppartonartmuseum.com.au for details.

Image: Raquel Ormella, All these small intensities (detail), 2017, silk and cotton embroidery thread on linen. Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane © the artist – photo by David Patterson

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