With a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay ‘A Room of One’s Own’ from 1929, artist Tai Snaith has conducted a series of conversations with mid-career and emerging women and non-binary artists whom she admires. These relaxed, colloquial exchanges explore shifts and similarities that artists face in their lives and artistic practices. Together, they attempt to break down the how and why of making art. They look at physical processes and how they relate, not only to outcomes, but also connect to the unconscious or non-visual parallels and needs in our lives. Notions such as self-doubt, control, meaning, shame, risk, parenthood and radicalism are some of the rich topics covered. This project is supported by The Australia Council for the Arts.
Special episode- Live Conversation with Tai Snaith and Janine Burke
As part of the exhibition of A World Of One’s Own at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in May 2021, this talk was held as a live event with an audience in the gallery. Host of the podcast Tai Snaith (seated left) and Art Historian and writer Janine Burke (right) discuss the project and why it is important that public collections continue to focus on collecting work by female-identifying artists.
Audio production and editing by Martin Kay.
Programmed and invited by MPRG curator and director Danny Lacy (left with microphone).
Artwork featured in photo by Sally Smart.
A Task for Many Hands (Deborah Kelly)
As artists, how we can learn to use our megaphones to create a world we can bear to live in? Can a knife have a mind of its own? Can desire be an animating force?
In this conversation Tai Snaith converses with Deborah Kelly about her animated paper work ‘LYING WOMEN’ from the MPRG collection and the process of making it. They talk of freeing the female figures from white man’s HIStory and letting them rub up against each other in HERstory. They go on to explore a series of juicy topics from starting her own religion to using art-making as an attempt to save her own life.
Willing to Fight and Willing to Fail (Fiona McMonagle)
How can the way in which something is painted affect the way we read it? How is the self-discipline involved in painting similar to the self-discipline of an athlete? How can we forget the cost of our materials in order to paint freely?
In this episode Tai Snaith converses with Fiona McMonagle about her watercolour painting ‘Wonky’ from the MPRG collection. This work is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Fiona’s fascination with complicated female subjects and making up her own rules. Here, she reveals her understanding of the medium of watercolour and her willingness to fail as part of the process.
Control (Lily Mae Martin)
What does it mean to push past perfectionism? How can feeling powerless create more power for us in the end? How do we strike a balance between depicting the absurdity of life and the serious nature of compulsion?
In this episode Tai Snaith and Lily Mae Martin start by deciphering her work on paper from the MPRG collection called ‘Wrestling.’ They go on to unpack a series of ideas around how we see the female body, comfort zones, censorship and control.
Together they navigate the very personal terrain of pushing through self-loathing and how making art relates to motherhood, career, health and life.
Sweeping in and Sorting Life (Elizabeth Gower)
How can the overload of images in daily life be seen as a positive thing? How can we keep ideas alive over decades of practice? How do you KEEP EVERYTHING and not become a hoarder?
In this conversation Tai Snaith and Elizabeth Gower discuss an early work of hers on paper called ‘Precious Life’ from the MPRG collection. They explore the practice of collecting and sorting both actual materials and symbols and how it has adapted and changed over her life. Elizabeth shares how she learnt to ‘accept the chaos.’
Stitching Together (Lisa Waup)
As artists, how can we fill in the gaps of knowledge about our cultural histories? How can nature and country act as a connector? How can collaboration help strengthen our practice?
Tai Snaith kicks off this new mini-series by speaking with Gundijmara/ Italian/ Torres Strait islander artist LISA WAUP about her powerfully personal, shield-like work on paper from the MPRG collection called ‘Admit to Care.’
Together they discuss Lisa’s process of collecting history and stitching it together in order to ‘protect the layers.’