Throughout her life and career, Katherine Hattam has engaged, actively, with the cultural, historical and personal ecology of feminism. Avoiding overt didacticism, the Melbourne artist has honed a unique visual vernacular that partially uncovers the gendered ways in which the Western cultural edifice has been constructed. For Hattam, patriarchy is alive and well even now, and – despite undeniable progress – the art world is still shadowed by this.
In her recent works, Hattam has been incorporating the names of friends, writers, curators and artists (all women) to forge an alternate nomenclature of art history. Largely inspired by Phillip Guston’s Pantheon (1973), these works include pages from Penguin classics and modernist textbooks – an emblematic act of recycling that speaks to the need of readdressing historical gender bias.
The exhibition I AM HERE deepens this tenor of Hattam’s practice and continues the recent cultural current of elevating the voices of women, such as the #MeToo movement. Curated by Hattam and featuring the work of forty women artists, the presentation directly responds to the National Gallery of Australia’s Know My Name campaign (which profiles 300 artists). While speaking to the need for sharper visibility of women artists, it celebrates the work of a diverse group of inter-generational women from Sydney, Melbourne and beyond. I AM HERE heralds a new chapter – a fresh wave rolling towards the not-too-distant horizon where gender hierarchy is a pale relic of the past. – Elli Walsh, 2021
JO BERTINI • SARAH BRASIER • NADINE CHRISTENSEN • RENEE COSGRAVE • MATILDA DAVIS • KATE DORROUGH • SAMANTHA EVERTON • BELINDA FOX • LEAH FRASER • ADRIENNE GAHA • JEMI GALE • JENNIFER GOODMAN • JULIA GORMAN • KATHERINE HATTAM • SUSAN HAWKINS • CHRISTINE HEALY • FIONA HISCOCK • NAOMI HOBSON • KATE JUST • NICOLE KELLY • ELLEN KOSHLAND • JENNA LEE • MOYA MCKENNA • MARLEE MCMAHON • HARRIET MORGAN • KENDAL MURRAY • JAHNNE PASCO-WHITE • SONIA PAYES • REGINA PILAWUK WILSON • CLARE RAE • ELVIS RICHARDSON • JULIA STEWART • ROBYN SWEANEY • EMILY ISABEL TAYLOR • NAT THOMAS • VICTORIA TODOROV • MICHELLE USSHER • ISADORA VAUGHAN • EMMA WALKER • ALICE WORMALD
I AM HERE is supported by Moving Art Australia and presented in conjunction with Art Month Sydney.