Anna Farago is a Melbourne visual artist and teacher. Solo exhibitions include ‘Stitching Place’ 2016 at Residents Gallery, Montsalvat, Eltham. Recent group exhibitions have been 'Materiality' Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn and 'No Woman is and Island' Blindside, Melbourne in 2017. In 2015/16 Anna was Artist in Residence at Darebin Parklands. In 2015 she collaborated with members of Maroondah Handicrafts Inc for ‘A Crafted History: People and Place’ at ArtSpace, Realm, Maroondah City Council. She has been exhibiting since 2003 and has work in private and public collections nationally and internationally.
Anna holds a Bachelor of Education (Visual Art) from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma (Graphic Design) from RMIT University and a Masters of Visual Art from Monash University, Gippsland. She is currently a MA Research candidate at Federation University, Ballarat.
Anna has taught workshops at Hawthorn Arts Centre, Maroondah Art Gallery and The Craft Sessions. She has also held teaching positions at Brighton Bay Art, Design & Photography Program and at Elwood, Vermont, Upwey and Orbost Secondary Colleges.
To see Anna's full CV please click HERE
My current work investigates the use of feminist art making traditions including embroidery, quilting, natural dyeing, stitched text and patchwork within a contemporary art practice. The works explore my connection with memory and place.
Stitched works, paintings and drawings are abstracted memories of place. My interest in place has been influenced by postmodern geographer Doreen Massey, who believes place is a site of flows and routes, of passage, rather than origins and roots. Rebecca Solnit's writings are also an important current influence. Her nonfiction writing weaves stories amongst her personal experience and memories on such themes as ageing, wandering, and the environment.
The use of traditional stitching including embroidery, handquilting and patchwork, continues the tradition of women artists reclaiming craft techniques for art, taking them out of the context of their functional domestic role. The decision to incorporate sewing within my practice occurred during the viewing of some of Louise Bourgeois’ ‘fabric drawings’ titled ‘Dawn’. Bourgeois has stated “[art] is a way of recognising oneself’, the process of making, whether stitching, painting or drawing, for me, as actions, are calming, contemplative, rhythmic, restorative.
While participating in feminist traditions my practice is increasingly drawing upon the learning which happens for women from mothers and grandmothers, in domestic settings, as well as amongst groups of women at different life stages, and to consider what benefits this offers to and in my practice.
My work also responds to feminist artist Miriam Shapiro’s notion of femmage. Femmage is a way of making which woman have participated in for centuries such as the use of leftovers to collage and combine materials. I incorporate ‘collecting’ of some sort in my work, such as creating collections of naturally dyed fabric with other artists, hunting and collecting vintage wallpaper in opshops, or saving paper offcuts from students’ work. I repurpose old garments and fabric offcuts from making clothing. My work is informed by the radical politics I experienced in my 1970s childhood.