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Group Show

REAL JOB

6

April 2023

6

Apr

2023

28

Apr 2023

Gallery 3

REAL JOB

Group Show

6

April 2023

6

April

2023

28

April 2023

Gallery 3

Artists: Artists’ Union Working Group including Imogen Beynon, Anna Dunnill, Danni McGrath, Nina Mulhall, Stephen Palmer, Cintia Pinto, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, with the assistance of Will Foster, Aaron Billings, Amelia Dowling, Flaneur Punk, Judy Kuo, Nina Mulhall, Lucas Heenan, Nina Ross, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, Hollie Moly and Catherine Story.

The labour of visual artists is neglected in Australian society. Artists are asked what they do for their ‘real job’ – that is, what pays the bills? Artists and art workers are frequently exploited due to the unregulated nature of the industry, insufficient funding and lack of union coverage. Peak body recommended rates of pay are routinely ignored. Many are nervous to criticise problematic institutional practices lest they ‘bite the hand that feeds them’. The federal government has promised that artists will be recognised as ‘workers’, but what does this entail?

Art is often considered separate from life, a trick that benefits those extracting profit from artists’ labour: if art isn’t work, then it doesn’t need to be remunerated. Artists in this two-part exhibition, across Counihan and Seventh galleries are organisers, activists and workers, who believe art is work. Forming the Workers Art Guild, Noel Counihan was an artist and activist who made art in response to economic hardship. What better time and place to discuss the value of artists’ labour?

Public programming will include workshops, writing and talks on artists’ labour.

Artists: Artists’ Union Working Group including Imogen Beynon, Anna Dunnill, Danni McGrath, Nina Mulhall, Stephen Palmer, Cintia Pinto, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, with the assistance of Will Foster, Aaron Billings, Amelia Dowling, Flaneur Punk, Judy Kuo, Nina Mulhall, Lucas Heenan, Nina Ross, Madeleine Thornton-Smith, Hollie Moly and Catherine Story.

The labour of visual artists is neglected in Australian society. Artists are asked what they do for their ‘real job’ – that is, what pays the bills? Artists and art workers are frequently exploited due to the unregulated nature of the industry, insufficient funding and lack of union coverage. Peak body recommended rates of pay are routinely ignored. Many are nervous to criticise problematic institutional practices lest they ‘bite the hand that feeds them’. The federal government has promised that artists will be recognised as ‘workers’, but what does this entail?

Art is often considered separate from life, a trick that benefits those extracting profit from artists’ labour: if art isn’t work, then it doesn’t need to be remunerated. Artists in this two-part exhibition, across Counihan and Seventh galleries are organisers, activists and workers, who believe art is work. Forming the Workers Art Guild, Noel Counihan was an artist and activist who made art in response to economic hardship. What better time and place to discuss the value of artists’ labour?

Public programming will include workshops, writing and talks on artists’ labour.

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Madeleine Thornton-Smith

Madeleine Thornton-Smith has training in painting and ceramics.

​Remediation is the act of re-forming an object in a material from which it wouldn’t usually be made. Thornton-Smith uses remediation as a method of investigating medium specificity—in particular the location where, and the manner in which, one distinct medium ends and another begins. Employing a slow process of accumulation and repetition, she uses slip-casting to bring together commonplace studio material surfaces—bubble wrap, acrylic paint, polystyrene, expanding foam, render and concrete—with archetypal forms from fine art and ceramics—vessels, plinths, frames, canvases and tiles. Recently the frame has been her focus. This mimetic process also interrogates material hierarchies: for example, a canvas or expanding form’s material currency is subverted through slip-casting – raising questions about the status and value of ceramics, art and craft. Through an accumulation of experience working in various mediums, Thornton-Smith tries to bring different ways of working to the practice of object-making. Collage and photomontage also form a big part of her practice: creating worlds that exist ‘between’.

​Thornton-Smith has obtained various qualifications including a Bachelor of Arts/Visual Arts (Monash, 2013), Honours of Fine Art (Monash, 2014), Diploma in Languages (Spanish, 2015), Diploma of Ceramics (Holmesglen, 2017), and First-Class Honours in Object-Based Practice (Ceramics) at RMIT. She was a finalist in the Craft Victoria Awards (2016), Craft ‘Fresh’! (2018), Blindside ARI’s ‘DEBUT XV’ (2018), the Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award (2019) and was awarded a three-month residency (2018) and solo exhibition (2019) through RMIT:ART:INTERSECT after completing Honours. In 2019, she attended a 10-week ceramics residency at Cotto Designs in Lima. In 2020, she is due to do a three-month residency at Northcote Pottery Supplies and solo exhibition at c3 art space with works made during her residency in Peru.

Artists’ Union Working Group