CHERCHEZ LA FEMME!
My work is concerned with how women are viewed both in an art world setting and in other narrative forms. We see images of women covering the walls of galleries, so we assume they are present. We marvel at their demure, beautiful figures, who gaze back at us are we look up at them. The position of women in the Western practice of the portrait has classically been that of the model or the muse, and seldom the creator. By examining the idea of women simultaneously being the art and the artist, I aim to challenge the notion that women can only have a singular role within the annals of art history. Central to my artistic expression is the book as an art object. It transforms my works from solely paintings on walls into tactile, intimate pieces that foster a connection between the artist and the audience. Ultimately, my motivation for exploring these ideas stems from personal experiences in galleries filled with images of women and the profound influence of texts discussing feminist perspectives within the art world.
My work is driven by the desire to reintegrate women into a narrative that has historically overlooked them. To achieve this, I paint myself into the canon of self-portraiture and engage with novels that champion women and their agency in making choices for themselves. Through these works, I merge storytelling, literature, and feminist perspectives to create immersive experiences, prompting reflection and alluding to the complex role of women in art.
Ash Worthington (b.2002) is a Eora/Sydney-born artist and student living and working in Naarm/Melbourne. She is currently enrolled at RMIT and undergoing her final year of a BA Fine Arts. She has been included in publications including Reshaping Worlds and RMIT’s Catalyst, and has exhibited work in student shows during her time at RMIT, namely A4 Exhibit, 2023 and Capture, 2022. While studying, she has developed a deep appreciation for feminist art history and theory and explores these ideas through her works. This, in tandem with her interest in literature, forms the basis for her practice.