Amber Boardman in BODYWORK at Fremantle Arts Centre

Amber Boardman is currently presenting work in an exhibition titled BODYWORK at Fremantle Arts Centre, WA.

Morphing figures, performing bodies and pop icons populate ‘Bodywork’, an exhibition that brings together mid-career Australian artists Amber Boardman (NSW), Tarryn Gill (WA) and Kaylene Whiskey (SA). Featuring soft sculpture, painting and video, ‘Bodywork’ focuses on the body as a site for experimentation and self-expression, while exploring ideas connected to body modification, the cult of celebrity, and female empowerment.

Curator Erin Coates writes in the exhibition catalogue:
“Women’s beauty rituals and the social and commercial spheres that grow around these pursuits are ongoing concerns in Boardman’s paintings. The characters in her work are warped and amplified versions of people she might see on the bus, in supermarket queues, on Instagram feeds. There is a perverse and voyeuristic pleasure that can be drawn from these portraits (which as my reality TV tastes show, I am not opposed to). Yet Boardman also delivers empathy, intimacy and deep fascination. Her works explore the botched beauty aspirations of her characters with genuine affection. She revels in the strangeness of human bodies and the comedy that can arise from sharing our bodily imperfections and strategies for self-improvement. Beauty rituals become acts of both self-expression and creation: ‘I think of the women I paint as artists who use makeup, spray tan, hair dye, plastic surgery, etc. as their art mediums,’ the artist explains.”

“While the works in Bodywork might play with body and beauty aspirations, they never attempt to suggest any ideal form. Rather, the artists utilise the body as a site for experimentation, empowerment and self-expression. Boardman’s warped figures experiment with the possibilities of modifying our bodies; Gill’s multi-limbed figures are imbued with a dark and uncanny feminine power; and the performing bodies in Whiskey’s paintings assert a message of female strength and camaraderie.”

BODYWORK closes 22 Nov 2020

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