Thursday, September 10, 2009

Family Guy

Some time back, curator Brett Adlington contacted me to say that he thought I might interested in an exhibition he's been working on for a few years -- and that is now on at the Lake Macquarie Art Gallery in New South Wales.

I was--and am!--and have been very remiss in not posting about it before now.

It's called Family Guy, and the idea emerged for Brett when he was home full time with his kids while his wife worked. He said he was struck while waiting at the school gate by how many fathers there were picking up their kids, unlike when he was at school, but that the hours between 9 and 3 made him realise "how in many ways things hadn’t changed that much, and that being a male at home with kids in the day was a pretty lonely experience."

Which made me think that, although it can be a pretty isolating experience for mums too, at least we have each other. Women are great at forging those networks of support in a way that doesn't come so easily to most men.

Brett started thinking about visual art through history, and the fact that most of the works depicting scenes of domesticity and family were by female artists. He then wondered if many male artists have created work that reflects the changing ways in which men involve themselves in family.

Hence, this fascinating-sounding exhibition, Family Guy, on now until 11 October.

The exhibition draws together work by 14 contemporary male artists, examining the way men see themselves today as fathers, sons, partners and brothers. Some of them illustrate the experience of being a new father, while others describe their separation from family members, particularly children.

Artists include Vernon Ah Kee, Alan Jones, Alex Kershaw, Richard Lewer, Shandor Marosszeky, Laith McGregor, Ben Quilty, Aaron Seeto, Ian Smith, Kris Smith, Martin Smith, Roderick Sprigg, Christian Thompson, Jamil Yamani.

Bravo Brett!

1 comment:

Damon Young said...

Thanks, Rachel - looks like a great exhibition.

It can be an odd thing, kid-wrangling - and I don't do it full time. Many women see me as an auxiliary parent (i.e. 'baby-sitting'). And many men just don't get it at all, even when they're parents.

But this week I had a nice conversation with a woman in a toyshop:

'You're good,' she said, out of the blue.

'What,' I said, 'do you mean?'

'You don't often see men with kids during the week,' she replied straightforwardly. 'And especially not with a baby.'

It was nice to be recognised.