Exhibition: Glitter — July 15, 2014GLITTER: PAT LARTER vs LOLA RYAN
CRUTHERS COLLECTION OF WOMEN’S ART
LAWRENCE WILSON ART GALLERY AT THE DR HAROLD SCHENBERG ART CENTRE 26 JULY – 27 SEPTEMBER 2014
Glitter presents the vibrant and engaging work of two distinct yet connected artists. Pat Larter and Lola Ryan’s works speak with unique voices on kitsch, decoration, the questionable distinctions between art and craft and on who we celebrate and remember, and why.
Two under-recognized Australian artists, never before seen in Perth, in conversation.
Born in London and emigrating to Australia in the 1960s, Pat Larter’s large abstract paintings and photo-collages playfully subvert ‘high art’ ideals.
Lola Ryan’s ‘shell-work’ objects use contemporary materials to continue a tradition particular to the indigenous community of La Perouse, near Sydney.
Lola Ryan, Shell-work bridge, 2002, 15 x 37 x 7 cm, CCWA 716o, © courtesy the artist’s estate
The artists share an unconventional aesthetic, using fluorescent colours and ‘craft’ materials.
Their work has also recently been ‘rediscovered’ after a period of being overlooked by art history – Larter in favour of her husband, painter Richard Larter, and Ryan’s shell work in favour of ‘men’s’ work like wood-carving.
The exhibition is a celebration of these vibrant works, and asks important questions about taste, craft and about who is remembered and why.
Pat Larter, Rip it up, 1994, acrylic glitter and jewels on board, 91 x 105cm, CCWA 623. © Courtesy the artist’s estate
Pat Larter and Lola Ryan’s works share remarkable similarities, despite their very different backgrounds. Pat Larter is better known as a muse for her husband, Australian pop artist Richard Larter, than for her own practice, which often confronted sexism and gender politics. Lola Ryan’s shell-work objects – boxes, wall-hangings and miniature Sydney Harbour Bridges – continue an indigenous tradition particular to La Perouse near Sydney, but were for many years considered part of a souvenir trade rather than an art history. Both artists re-energize a tradition with a neon colour palette and unconventional, ‘domestic’ materials, an aesthetic distinctly at odds with the ‘highbrow’. Both artists’ work has also been ‘reconsidered’, finding its way into museums, collections and contemporary art discussions after long periods of being overlooked. Curator of the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art, Gemma Weston: “I saw these works on my first day with the collection and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. It was aesthetic at first – they’re very particular things – but the more I knew about them, the more important it seemed to bring them together.”
LAWRENCE WILSON ART GALLERY
DR HAROLD SCHENBERG ART CENTRE
OPEN TUES – SAT 11AM – 5PM
THE UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA, Australia 6009
P +61 (0)8 6488 3707 W http://www.lwgallery.uwa.edu.au