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The Artists | A new digital artwork at Benalla Art Gallery

May 29, 2020 Attraction No Comments Email Email

NETS Victoria and Benalla Art Gallery have partnered to present an online staging of The Artists, a video artwork by Catherine Bell, showing now until 28 June.

The Artists is a silent film by artist Catherine Bell, documenting an artist residency at Norma Redpath House, University of Melbourne in December 2017.

The video features artist collaborators Cathy Staughton and Catherine Bell, who have credited each other as their muse since 2009. Both artists explore female identity in their painted and video portraits which documents the first time “The Artists” lived together and produced artworks outside of Cathy’s studio at Arts Project Australia.

Using a combination of sign language, lip reading and visual communication, the film focuses on communal daily rituals – how “The Two Cathies” co-exist with Catherine Bell’s dog Archie and interact when they are not making art. The Artists explores how feminist ethics play a role in their participatory practice and illuminates concepts of trust, friendship, and embodiment – advocating for feminist ethical and theoretical approaches to community-engaged collaborative practices.

The video artwork pays homage to the silent film genre which provided an inclusive experience for the hearing impaired who could fully participate in this cultural form as equal members of the audience.

Claire Watson Director of NETS Victoria said: “While we’re all spending more time at home, we hope you enjoy observing the daily rituals of artist collaborators Cathy Staughton and Catherine Bell, whose shared artist residency was documented in this silent film.”

Dr Catherine Bell is a multi-disciplinary artist and Associate Professor teaching visual art in the Faculty of Education and Arts, Australian Catholic University. Her creative-led research is focused on the role of the artist in the archive, art on the margins, socially-engaged, participatory and relational art practices, redefining and repositioning the female in contemporary society. She is represented by Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.

Audiences can view The Artists here:
now until 28 June.

NETS Victoria delivers the best contemporary art, craft and design to regional Victoria and beyond. The organisation works closely with curators and galleries to develop ambitious and stimulating exhibitions that foster the exchange of ideas and promote new works by a diverse range of leading and emerging Australian artists.

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