Emu Wear

Mimicry

SCA PhD candidate, Maria Fernanda Cardoso's exhibition Emu Wear will open at GRANTPIRRIE on Thursday 30 April, 6 to 8pm. Large-scale photographs depicting a solitary woman cloaked in Cardoso’s various creations, sit enigmatically alongside the featured garment-works. Playing with context, shifting the boundaries between object of art and object of fashion, Cardoso masterfully creates an ambiguity of form and function in the work.

Building on one of the key themes informing her practice, Cardoso expands on her fascination with camouflage and mimicry in the natural world, making literal the obvious analogies to human society. Emu Wear, as the title suggest, extends – possibly to resolution – Cardoso’s use of the emu as a medium. Utilising its texture, colour and form, she seeks to recreate the colours and textures of the Australian landscape. With this as a starting point, she has made outfits from the emu feathers, effectively cloaking the wearer in an iconic symbol of Australia. As an immigrant to this country, this has further resonance, examining the make up of our society, modes of assimilation or camouflage and importantly, through these gestures, questioning our understanding of what it is to be Australian. As always, Cardoso has displayed a restrained elegance in the execution of her creative vision.

Emu Wear will be on display until Saturday 23 May 2009.

Image: Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Emu Wear, 2008. Suite of 4 photographs. Lamda prints on photographic paper, aluminium. 180 x 120 cm each.