Notes to Self, BMG Art Gallery, Adelaide, 2-
The art I make is a reaction to what I see in contemporary female culture and my views on the ‘appearance industry’. I find inspiration through my own emotions and the experiences of the females around me – the face we present to the world and the layers we conceal. I explore our complicated relationship with the expectations we place on ourselves in the ‘performance of femininity’, questioning our obsession with the embodied-
My new body of work for BMG Gallery, titled “Notes to Self” plays upon the apparent illogic of female desire surrounding self-
The use of a provocative aesthetic is deliberate to draw attention to ongoing societal issues of body image. I feel women are vulnerable to commodification and patriarchal exploitation. The female gaze is complex and self-
To read an Exhibition essay by emerging artist and writer, Kate O’Boyle, please scroll to the bottom of this page.
Exhibition Companion Essay
Notes to Self presents a series of paintings by Janine Dello that reflect on ways we experience being a body/having a body, when subject to Western standards of female beauty.
Janine paints a very specific type of woman – young, white, delicate, withdrawn -
Collectively, their delicately folded bodies form a mass of white flesh that lures with a pristine radiance. There is no escaping the surface of these bodies. Fragmented and closely cropped, they push towards you in invitation. The effect of their surround is a claustrophobic assault of whiteness.
These nymphs are fixed in poses that have become so commonplace they operate on the collective conscience as a background hum. Breasts are coyly disguised behind draped arms, mouths pursed open in invitation, balletic hands frame tilted faces. These are poses women have been holding for centuries. Employed to simultaneously disguise and reveal the female body, they confirm the subject’s dual sensuality and passivity. Women must be sexy but not sexual. Everything is hinted at but never shown in its reality.
These women represent a narrowly defined, default-
Propelled into cycles of self-
When women’s bodies are co-
Kate O’Boyle is an emerging artist and writer based in Adelaide, South Australia.