… an artist whose work explores the interface between culture, industrialisation and nature. Her work provokes important questions about what we choose to see and archive, and more importantly, what we don’t…
Link: Interview with editor, Georgina Reid of The Planthunter in Issue 76
Caroline Rothwell is honoured to have won the Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize 2021 with Vault
Vault, 2020, acrylic on linen, 163 x 183cm
From Art Monthly:
Described by judges as ‘a poignant, beautiful and major work’, a painting that examines the historical idea of a wunderkammer (or cabinet of curiosities) for contemporary eyes has won the 2021 Ravenswood School for Girls Australian Women’s Art Prize, the country’s highest value art prize for female artists. Vault (2020) by Sydney-based Caroline Rothwell which was also a finalist in last year’s Sir John Sulman Prize, looks at what the artist has called ‘a Western disconnect from nature’ at a time that ‘a battle rages to recognise the value of traditional knowledge and the natural world’.
The Panel discussion about art, tech and botany at The Calyx, Royal Botanical Garden Sydney in now on YouTube. It begins 10mins in… Panelists are Rachel Kent, Chief Curator, MCA; Jonathan Richards, Creative Lead, Google Creative Lab; John Siemon, Director of Horticulture at Botanic Gardens, Greater Sydney and artist, Caroline Rothwell.
Thirteen artists consider diverse approaches to the environment, storytelling and inter-generational learning. Drawing on natural materials and processes, as well as found objects and detritus, they explore notions of planetary caretaking, and our relationship to place in an era of dramatic change.
Unseen physical forces – wind, gases, emissions – power some works, while others transform plant matter, kangaroo teeth, echidna quills and plastic waste into powerful statements. Women’s practice is central to The National 2021 at the MCA, explored through diasporic and familial histories, labour and learning, and wider mythological narratives. Symbiosis in nature is an enduring motif in the exhibition, demonstrating patterns of connection and the balance of all things in the natural world.
Lung, 2021, installation view, canvas, gypsum cement, stainless steel, paint, mixed media, image: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, photograph: Felicity Jenkins
About the exhibition
The National: New Australian Artpresents the latest ideas and forms in contemporary Australian art, curated across three of Sydney’s premier cultural institutions: the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. A 6-year initiative over 3 editions in 2017, 2019 and 2021, the curatorial vision for the exhibition represents a mix of emerging, mid-career and established Australian artists living here and abroad. New and commissioned works encompass a diverse range of mediums including painting, video, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance.
Vault, acrylic on linen, 163 x 183 cm, photo: AGNSW, Jenni Carter
Vault interrogates the seduction of the 19th-century Wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities), where specimens and artefacts were displayed in European aristocratic house museums. The process of collection and display reflects a Western disconnect from nature that is under review for our 21st-century moment in which a battle rages to recognise the value of traditional knowledge and the natural world.
Symbiosis (bluebeard orchid) is a sculpture influenced by the endemic bluebeard orchid and 19th-century botanical models made by Brendel, a German company. The sculpture supports elements of 21st-century infrastructure and grows avaricious tongues. The work points to the Symbiocene, a future where man-made systems attempt to align with nature, rather than overpower it.
Closer than they appear, group show at Yavuz Gallery, Singapore features 15 celebrated artists from across Asia-Pacific. Representing a diversity of generations, approaches, and viewpoints, artists embark on this spatial journey by exploring understandings of landscape, country, and location; as well as temporally – evoking life, death, and rebirth. The infinite lines of time and space meet always at the crossroads of the here and now. We pause to look back at where we’ve been – another glance into our mirror, before resuming the journey ever forward…
Caroline Rothwell’s digital animation, Carbon Emission 2 centres on a research-based enquiry into humankind’s interaction with the natural world, with her video work informed by carbon emissions – their cause, impact, and materiality.