Cover image of the review
Elizabeth Gower, _City Series 7_, 1982, billboards and placards on paper, 77 x 60cm (framed). Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne. Image credit: Andrew Curtis.

Elizabeth Gower, LOCATIONS

22 Feb 2020
Sutton Gallery 1 Feb - 29 Feb 2020

Elizabeth Gower has always had a knack for sourcing material. As a young artist, she once nicked an entire ream of butcher's paper from a fish and chip shop. What began as a failed endeavour as the paper buckled when Gower painted onto it, led her to tear it up, weave the strips of paper and reassemble it as the paper quickly became the work itself instead of the canvas for another work. Gower's interest in paper collage has been sustained in her artistic practice for over forty years with all the material she uses being found (or, in at least one case, stolen).

In the early 1980s, when Gower moved into a studio located in Melbourne's CBD, she collected found paper, posters, packaging, billboards, magazine ads and racked the newspaper headlines propped outside of local newsagencies. The bombardment of junk mail that spilled out of apartment blocks and residential letterboxes soon found a home in Gower's studio. Every scrap was either stored away or utilised in her collages as the fragmented and disjointed pieces were cut up, rearranged and put back together again. The bold colours and imagery of the cheap advertising was enticing, and can be seen in her seven framed collages, City Series (1982), currently on show at Sutton Gallery and Sutton Projects exhibition LOCATIONS.

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