About

 

Felicity Gordon is a Melbourne based visual artist who works in many mediums including sculptural and two dimensional forms.   Felicity is currently creating a body of work experimenting with synthetic polymer and oil paint on timber panels. Felicity's previous work was influenced by constructs of gender and her experiences as a woman. Art Stream's Peter Doherty once called her "a guerrilla girl at heart" (Art Streams, March/April 2000. p.7). Felicity’s work is underpinned with political, environmental and social concerns.
 

Felicity’s current project considers global climate change and our changing relationship with nature as we contemplate sustainability. Of particular interest is how some of us are growing or producing food. What does that mean and has it changed our relationship with and understanding of nature and consumption?  An aspect of Felicity's recent Masters research involved investigating the regenerative systems of Permaculture and issues of food security.

Felicity has been shortlisted for The Murdoch Travelling Scholarship, The Norma Bull Portrait Scholarship (runner up), The Nillumbik Art Award, The Darebin La Trobe  Art Award, The Moonnee Valley Art Award and Banyule Works on Paper Prize.  Felicity has exhibited regularly in group exhibitions and has held seven solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

In 2016 Felicity participated in an intensive drawing program at The New York Studio School in America.

Felicity has completed a Masters of Visual  Art at Monash/Federation University, a Post-graduate Diploma in Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, Post-graduate Diploma of Vocational Education at Melbourne University and a BA Honours in Fine Art Painting at R.M.I.T.

Artist Statement

As I work in my garden I delight in the smell of the rich warm soil.  I’m inspired by naturally occurring systems of renewal and fascinated by underlining processes of death and decomposition.  Climate change, environmental sustainability, food security, how we feel about the food we consume and our bodily relationship with nature are central themes of my work.

 
I have expressed my ideas in various ways including drawing, painting, sculpture, community gardening, community art projects, permaculture garden happenings and talks on sustainability.  In attempting to group these happenings and artwork I have titled them the Eat Suburbia Project.  


By creatively responding to the ecological crisis caused by climate change art can express conflicting ideas and thoughts offering alternative possibilities.    I’m attracted to the uncomfortable areas in between modes of understanding where expression might reveal facets of our human experience.  By bringing us into contact with nature it is hoped the work might act as a provocation for viewers to wonder at their own relationship with the natural world.


My current installation project Still focuses on nature as the provider of the food we need to survive.  The work displays living and decomposing plants arranged as specimens for close observation.  Australian Artist Janet Laurence uses plant specimens similarly, however where Laurence focuses on habitat loss, extinction and plant alchemy  I consider plant life cycles of regeneration and decomposition.  Still uses reclaimed timber and double glazed window frames.  The small space between the glass planes has been filled with food producing plants and organic material in various states of decomposition.  Creating an immersive experience viewers are invited to enter and walk through the house.  The installation is a serene space enabling a sense of curiosity at the diversity of organic forms and levels of disintegration.  


The use of materials in my work is deliberate.  Using reclaimed, secondhand or natural materials allows me to tell the story of sustainability in a way that new materials wouldn’t.  In a recent series of small paintings I used wooden timber rounds as an end grain base.  The timber was locally sourced from fallen trees.  The form of the work relates to the small painted images of figuration and plants.  One painting titled Climate Denial Man 2016 depicts a suited figure in denial of climate change even though a small tree is growing from his paper bag covered head.


In a recent series of work titled Code Grey  I used factory seconds medical equipment.  This series of work investigated notions of clean air, regeneration and recovery.  Sometimes it takes time to find the materials I need for a specific idea; at other times the materials themselves generate new work.


Creating the Eat Suburbia Project has enabled me to respond to climate change, our relationship with nature and food security.  In my role as an artist I engage with the community and create works privately.  By bringing us in contact with nature I hope the work highlights the incredible beauty of plants and the value of environmental sustainability.

Felicity Gordon
December 2018
 

[1] Janet Laurence Animate/Inanimate, TarraWarra International 2013, Healesville Victoria p. 43

[2] Felicity Gordon Code Grey Resuscitation installation Yarra Sculpture Prize, Melbourne 2016

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