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Jacky Redgate reflects in University Art Gallery exhibition

20 October 2015
Gallery highlights Australian artist's use of mirrors in her work

Light and reflection are a common theme of Jacky Redgate’s oeuvre and she reinvents this in Mirrors, her latest show, which incorporates photographic abstraction and features a new project using photographs found by the artist.

Image of Jacky Redgate's chromogenic photographic face mounted on acrylic called Light Throw (Mirrors) Fold

Light Throw (Mirrors) Fold, 2013–14, chromogenic photograph face mounted on acrylic. Courtesy of the artist, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, and William Wright Artists Projects, Sydney

“Many artists prefer the futuristic bling of neon but Redgate looks backwards when she plays with light,” said curator Ann Stephen. “She returns to the past in many ways, to the antique world of hand-printed analogue film, morphing early twentieth century geometric abstraction with the ancient genre of still life.”

Redgate has been exhibiting for 25 years. She has been part of the Biennale of Sydney and Australian Prespecta. She has held solo shows at major museums and galleries including the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW.

The multi-disciplinary Redgate has reinvented her oeuvre in the last two decades, with a series of studio experiments engaging light and reflection. This latest exhibition offers an opportunity for visitors to consider her work anew, combining photographic abstraction and an “autobiographical mask” of mirrors, say Stephen.

Mirrors have become an obsession of Redgate’s and are a common thread in her work. Introducing Pear’s Baby Contest photographs March 1959 into her body of work, Redgate now links her impersonal optical mirror works with her personal and early works, as art writer Robert Leonard explains:

“Jacky Redgate came into the (art) world as the conflicted offspring of feminism on the one hand and minimalism and conceptualism on the other. Where minimalism and conceptualism resisted expressionism and suppressed psycho-biography, the women’s art movement clung to them. Which way to go? What’s a girl to do?”

About the Artist

Jacky Redgate was born in London 1955 and emigrated to Australia in 1967. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the South Australian School of Art in 1980, a Master of Visual Art from Sydney College of the Arts in 1998 and a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong in 2014.

Exhibitions aside, recent career highlights include:

  • 1st prize Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne (2011)
  • Curator, 1967: Selected works from the MCA Collection, Sydney (2004–05)

Exhibition details

  • What:  Jacky Redgate: Mirrors
  • When: until 27 November
  • Where: University Art Gallery, War Memorial Arch, The Quadrangle, Science Road
  • Website:
  • Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm; first Saturday of the month 12-4pm. Closed Sundays and public holidays.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 02 93516883

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