Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Pandora exhibited @ MONA in Hobart

Patricia Wilson-Adams  and Theatre of the World  

Imagine my surprise on receiving an email from the staff at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart telling me that a work of mine was to be included in the Jean-Hubert Martin curated exhibition Theatre of the World and asking that I consent to having the work reproduced in the catalogue.  I just did not believe it until I had a copy of the wonderfully produced catalogue in my hands.  I have yet to visit Hobart – waiting for warmer weather.

The work chosen is an etching and aquatint made in 1977 as a commission for the Print Council of Australia and is one in an edition of 70 (these days PCA commissions editions are 30 prints).  Unit and Step Grid  (54.5 x 44.6 cms) was purchased by TMAG in 1982.  I clearly remember printing this long edition on my Hunter Penrose press which at the time was located in my garage before my studio was built – long hours, blue black ink all over utensils in my kitchen and the heat.  On looking at the work almost four decades later and after a lifetime of making prints, I am pleased to recount that Unit and Step Grid remains fresh and that it is visually a strong statement.

Much has been written about the way in which Martin has chosen to juxtapose items more usually relegated to the ethnographic museums with “higher end” art works from both the collections at MONA and works from the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.  The central emphasis in the Theatre of the World exhibition is on the rich collection of South Pacific barkcloths and it is in relation to these works that my etching is shown.  The visual correlations between my work (catalogue no 204) and the Solomon Island armband (catalogue no 203) shown next to it are deeply resonate, with my immediate response being that pattern speaks all languages.