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By Lucy McNabb
December 18, 2017

Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Wander through four decades of self-portraiture, autobiography and a whole lot of imagination.
By Lucy McNabb
December 18, 2017

The MCA's Anna Davis has curated this survey exhibition of leading Australian artist Jenny Watson, which features works from the 1970s up to the present day ranging from her early realist drawings and paintings to several series of works on fabric. Evidencing Watson's naive, unaffected style, The Fabric of Fantasy showcases her special ability to blend autobiography and psychology with imagination, wit and deadpan delivery to explore her dreams and desires.

Based in Brisbane but an avid traveller, Watson often incorporates textiles purloined during her adventures into the surface for several of her paintings — which could be anything from sequins to horsehair to magazines. Influenced by punk and the feminist movement, a significant part of Watson's work involves self-portraits or alter egos — think longhaired Alice in Wonderland-like figures in dresses, ballerinas, rock guitarists, plus the odd horse or cat — and often uses hand painted text alongside distilled imagery to bring to life an unusual interior world.

Whether you're a fan or not, don't miss this chance to see over four decades of work from a truly fascinating conceptual painter.

Image: Jenny Watson, 'The Pretty Face of Domesticity' (2014).

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