Rosslynd Piggott: I sense you but I cannot see you – NGV

Rosslynd Piggott, Double Breath (contained) of the sitter 1993–94 (installation detail) various media dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist
Rosslynd Piggott, Double Breath (contained) of the sitter 1993–94 (installation detail) various media dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist
Rosslynd Piggott, Double Breath (contained) of the sitter 1993–94 (installation detail) various media dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Rosslynd Piggott, Double Breath (contained) of the sitter 1993–94 (installation detail) various media dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Ancient Greek Philosopher Aristotle (384-322) considered ‘the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance’, which is certainly true when encountering the works of Melbourne born and based contemporary artist, Rosslynd Piggott.

She has a strong history of exhibiting her works in this city beginning in 1991. In 1998 Rosslynd Piggott’s initial solo exhibition, ‘suspended breath’, held at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) certainly garnered attention.

Rosslynd Piggott: Upside-down landscape 1989 oil on linen 136.0 x 183.0 cm © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Rosslynd Piggott: Upside-down landscape 1989 oil on linen 136.0 x 183.0 cm © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Now some twenty years later the exhibition Rosslynd Piggot: I sense you but I cannot see you, will be on show at NGV Australia, Federation Square April 12 – August 19, 2019 showcasing over 100 of her artworks, which are about ‘the beauty of the natural world and the poetics of space and place’.

All art remains subjective; open to interpretation and how it affects human emotions. Surreal is a term often bandied about and used in conjunction with Piggott’s works.

It’s a style that emerged during the 1920’s in France, followed by England, America and the rest of Europe. It was the early 1930’s when it hit Australian shores and the Director of the NGV of the time entirely voiced his disapproval of its tenets and imagery.

Rosslynd Piggott, Fall 1993–94 (installation detail) video projection, gauze, glass, mirrors, round plinth, milk dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Rosslynd Piggott, Fall 1993–94 (installation detail) video projection, gauze, glass, mirrors, round plinth, milk dimensions variable © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Times have changed. Piggott’s work is not so easily buttonholed these days. It has been described as ‘slow, deliberate and intelligent; while arising from a wide range of media and techniques, as she embraces among others, such themes as dreams states and the natural world.

Rosslynd Piggott has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including internationally. In 2011, she held a residency at The British School, Rome and then went onto become the Australia Council artist in residence at the Acme Studio in London 2013 -14.

When speaking to the title of this new exhibition, which has been drawn from an inscription on one of her paintings, Piggott explained:

Rosslynd Piggott, Most beautiful plant 1989 oil on linen 183.0 x 121.5cm © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

Rosslynd Piggott, Most beautiful plant 1989 oil on linen 183.0 x 121.5cm © The artist Photo: courtesy the artist

I sense you but I cannot see you conjures a place of pure intuition, seeking to locate or understand a subject not entirely understandable’.

Installations especially re-created for this exhibition, draw on items from the NGV’s extensive collection of decorative arts, fashion and textiles, including nineteenth-century furniture, shoes and garments.

More recently, Rosslynd Piggott has been working with the talented glass artisans in Murano, Venice as part of an ongoing project, with the resultant engraved glass sculptures from that engagement, also included in this show.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019

Rosslynd Piggott: I sense you but I cannot see you

12 April – 18 August 2019

NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

FREE ENTRY

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