CrosseXions is an exhibition at Metro Arts that draws together the work of 12 early career, Brisbane based women and transgender artists who are inscribing feminist and environmental concerns within their art practice.

Featuring a diverse range of work created by Brisbane based artists, CrosseXions exhibits virtual self portraits, audio recordings, costumes, photography and sculpture. While the artists are working across multiple mediums with a range of concerns, together they show a multiplicity of voices on current issues united by an interest in feminism, the environment or both.

One of the artists is Clare Poppi, whose practice involves ethically sourcing precious metals and gemstones to create unique, personalised jewellery which is then melted down and remade for the next participant, bringing attention to the mass production of commercial jewellery manufacturing.

Whilst some artists have created, reworked and exhibited objects, others at CrosseXions use themselves as the subject in their work. James Barth’s ‘Here With You’ is a virtual self-portrait that reflects on gender identity, challenging the monolithic, techno-centric and symbolic burden we force on the transsexual body. “My practice addresses Donna Haraway‘s image of the Cyborg and re-contextualises it as the Gynoid to discuss the techno-centric nature of the contemporary trans woman’s body. Haraway created this image of the cyborg to act as a catalyst for change, “a blasphemy”, its image was an artificial construction that could recreate and reconstruct itself (Haraway, 1983, p.2). I feel this ideology reflects the contemporary trans women’s lived experience; one that is also inherently constructed (gender construction),” explains Barth.

Also experiencing body changes is recently made mother Camille Serisier, whose ‘Venus of Brisbane’ is based on the artist’s personal experience of pregnancy by means of drawings, costumes and photographs. “Venus of Brisbane was inspired by an article about the Venus of Willendorf, the famous statuette of a woman from the Upper Paleolithic period, which put forward the theory that it and similar archaeological finds were the result of female self portraiture during pregnancy. Since its discovery, it has been widely assumed that men made the pieces to depict women, and I was surprised that I had shared that assumption. I decided to make my own self portraits based on my personal experience of pregnancy,” explains Serisier.

Powerful and thought-provoking, CrosseXions curator Beth Jackson explains the strong theme of the exhibition. “CrosseXions is about the power of intimacy, putting pay to the Lie that creativity does not abide within but between. The myth of the ultra-individual heroic male genius of modernism is well and truly dead regardless of the ongoing life-support of zombie institutions and bureaucracies,” explains Jackson. “This intimacy, forged through cooperative investment, is far far away from violence, and from experiences of loss and trauma, alienation and abuse, poison and exploitation that the artists and their artworks reflect upon and recover from.”

CrosseXions is open at Metro Arts until May 15.

Exhibiting artists: James Barth, Clark Beaumont (Sarah Clark & Nicole Beaumont), Katina Davidson, Dana Lawrie, Julie-Anne Milinski, Clare Poppi, Merri Randell, Leena Riethmuller, Camille Serisier, Lynden Stone and Shayna Wells.

By Melissa Fletcher
Image supplied by Metro Arts