Throughout my life I have always used drawing, painting and other forms of art making as a form of mindfulness to stay focused, calm and centred. Initially abandoning the idea of integrating art into my profession, I completed a Bachelor of Communications at UTS, but have had a change of heart. I’ve now gone on to study both Visual Arts and HSIE at CSU through my Master of Teaching (Secondary). Being a part of ‘A light on the Hill’ has transported me right back to studying Visual Arts during my HSC several years ago, and has refreshed and re-inspired my art-making process. I’m looking forward to using this inspiration to work alongside secondary students with their very own Bodies of Work.
Artwork Title: A Hidden Spectacle
A SPRITZ OF PERFUME: Elizabeth Chifley tries on different fragrances
HIGH TEA: Elizabeth Chifley enjoys morning tea with a friend
MIRROR & DRESSER: Elizabeth Chifley reflects by her dressing table
IN THE STUDY: Elizabeth Chifley receives an evening phone call from Ben Chifley while in Canberra.
‘A Hidden Spectacle’ is a series of paper-cut designs that tell the story of the imagined life of Elizabeth Chifley. The 1940’s were a time of social conformity, where men and women were expected to adhere to certain roles. In the public eye especially, women were often perceived as spectacles from the gaze of others, constricted to presenting themselves as composed, formal and controlled at all times with little chance to let their guards down.
Initially inspired by the doily, I have tried to encapsulate what it might have been like for Elizabeth Chifley in the comforts of her own home, relaxing and unwinding away from the political sphere. Through the use of paper-cutting techniques and design, my artwork aims to reflect my chosen object through its form. Typically a gendered object, the doily is decorative, soft and delicate (traits stereotypically associated with women) and I wanted to use this to explore ideas of femininity and gender conformity within the cultural context of the 1940’s.