Cover image of the review

Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

18 Nov 2017
Heide Museum of Modern Art 4 Nov - 3 Mar 2018

When you first start making stuff, finding your voice as an artist can be a bit of a slog. There will always be bad paintings, clumsy drawings of still lifes and failed charcoal figures from the life drawing classes you were forced to take at art school. It can be a case of trying things out and then trying them again and again. After a few years, you ultimately make the decision as to whether you want to stick with it for the rest of your life, or just stop and do something else.

The Fabric of Fantasy shows that Jenny Watson found her voice. It is an occasion to witness an artist's conceptual painting practice that has evolved over a four-decade period. The survey exhibition (curated by Anna Davis and travelling from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney) contains over 70 works dispersed amongst six rooms of Heide III, from early realist paintings, drawings, objects and animation to a number of key series of works on fabric. The central gallery is covered in a plush pink pattern where several large works are hung intermittently across the walls. And as you drift further into the show, you are caught hearing punk music blaring out of a room: a curatorial attempt to create a 'vibe'.

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