Exhibition Review

Adrienne Doig at Martin Browne Contemporary
September – October 2013

Adrienne Doig at Martin Browne Contemporary

I was introduced to Adrienne’s current work when visiting the 2013 contemporary art fair in Sydney in September.

I was intrigued. Her use of eBay purchased embroided patchwork struck a chord and I was hoping to see more soon.

The next day we were wandering over to see another exhibition when we realised  we were near to Martin Browne Contemporary and took the chance to see if her work was on exhibition. It was and I was again very interested.

Adrienne’s use of those embroided patchworks takes me back to the 1970s and some early feminist art as well as the work by so many women who became involved with using these embroided techniques. Much of this work was part of particular sewing circles and the work did not progress beyond what became then a form of home based craft work. But within these circles there were women who wanted to have an outlet for their expression and often this was frustrated as the way forward was not easy. Many of these women were mothers and child care was just part of their wish list.

So much of this work remained incomplete or at best discarded. And now along comes Adrienne in 2013. She has ventured onto eBay and has picked up these neglected pieces and applied her own creative directions.

The look of her current work reminds me of some 1970s feminist statements, particularly certain poster art. This is a great thing to see this lineage and to see how a contemporary artist has continued to bring home these messages through new works of art. Her messages are very much the same as they were then and probably even more relevant in today’s political and artistic debates.

Adrienne’s incorporation of these former patchwork pieces enhances their status as well as remind us that so much of this work by women from these previous decades has slipped away from current consideration.

These works are self portraits and through the exhibition, Adrienne has provided a a series of insights into herself. Of course as the works find themselves into individual collections, the collective statement will not be a strong. But each is definitely a wonderful individual expression.

One of my measures for such exhibitions is whether I smile or not. I did and did so a lot. This is one of the exhibitions where you can simply enjoy the aesthetics and the use of the materials and then allow the messages to work away on your brain over a longer period of time. And is possible get back to have another look. In this case I have a catalogue and the works are online.


Recommended: Rating 8/10


and about the gallery – Martin Browne Contemporary – nice place to visit, this exhibition was beautifully hung, the information available was generous and the website information is great  – worth the visit any time.

and yes Andrew Frost visited this one as well – click on the image below

Guardian Australia review by Andrew Frost










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