Both embracing and dissecting the concept and material of drawing, artist Anne Kay presents a compelling installation of photographic reproductions based on illustrations from covers of eighteenth and nineteenth century novels. These novels written by female authors of the time including Mary Shelly, Jane Austen, Anne Bronte, and Mary Ann Evans ( writing under the pen name George Elliot), offer Kay access into the attitudes and customs of the time and highlight the transitory nature of cultural values and ideals.
Choosing to create a series of pencil drawings based on book illustrations “ that seem intended to represent the novel’s entire narrative in one image”, Kay frees the images to separate from their source material and create new narratives of their own. These are drawings that have been photocopied, physically cut from their backgrounds, hinged with grommets, and pinned to the wall with dissecting needles. Arranged with a nod to the classic mystery novel, this eclectic selection of images clearly carries its history with it, but is now free to tell a wholly new story.
Anne Kay is an Australian visual artist, currently working in drawing, photography and photomontage. She is a graduate of the MFA program at CalArts, supported by a Samstag International Travelling Scholarship. Her work has been exhibited in Australia since 1992 at contemporary artspaces, artist-run-galleries and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. The Museum of Contemporary Art acquired a work produced collaboratively with Jane Polkinghorne for the MCA’s Contemporary Art Archive. In 2005-6, Anne completed an interactive video installation for a major Sydney public art commission. Anne has worked collaboratively with other artists on a number of occasions and has been active in various Sydney Artist Run Initiatives. She was also a sessional academic for seven years at various universities in and around Sydney.