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OPHIDIA

Acrylic paint and beading on sewn fabric banners, suspended for installation.

2018


This work was part of the body of work generated during the Masters of Fine Art at RMIT. It preceeded the Vide Magmas project, but had begun to contemplate the mechanics of identity as a form of self-mythology. 

’Ophidia’ consists of three painted fabric banners suspended in the gallery space on fishing line so that they appear to float in drapped forms. The banners were constructed from multiple panels of coloured fabric stitched together, then painted with acrylic paint and ornomented with beading. The first of three depicts three characters gathered around a mythological serpent. They each bear a knife and are in the process of disecting it. The snake has a long and fraught tradition of symbolism in many cultures. It is often representative of the femine in eurocentric cultures, regularly as something sinful and slippery like the snake in the garden of eden that tempted Eve. ‘Ophidia’ represents the artists dissection of their own femininity, as something simultaneously treasured and rejected in a battle with gender identity that takes place in a patriarchal society. The remaining banners depict the artist in the act of falling, or floating behind these concepts. On all three the symbol of a flame and hand are repeated, icons of dual creation-destruction that contemplate the inherint violence embedded in the tumult of simply existing and being.


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