Under Pressure

 From 16th September 2015,

two of our innovative and

inspiring local female artists

will be holding separate exhibitions:

Under Pressure

- a collection of recent work by

Anna Dorrington



a solo exhibition by

Paulette Hayes,

winner of first prize in the Open section

of the 2015 Serpentine Gallery Art Prize

with her fabric/stitching

Dreamtime Alice’,

exhibited during the exhibition


Both these exhibitions

are on show from

16th September to 13th October.

The Opening Night celebration

is on Friday 18th September,


A multimedia artist who reinvents found materials and retro images in her work,

Anna Dorrington’s exhibition

'Under Pressure'

looks at the somewhat antiquated and disempowering ritual of the extravagant wedding

and what it implies for the modern woman.

Artist Statement

One in three marriages end in divorce. And yet couples opt to spend lavishly on their wedding - $50,000 not

an unusual bottom line. This exhibition points to the enormous pressure couples - women especially -

are under to perform, parade and pay out large

on their wedding day.

The fairy tale identity exists in the 21st century.

Despite the advances women have made in the last 100 years, the white wedding persists. The virginal dress is still very much in vogue - the face veils, the long trains, the chaperoning bridal parties, the prettiness. It draws

a direct line from the days of the bride as commodity,

as a gift for a man to give away, as a fairy floss

artifact of power and control. And from the days

when the only hope for many women was to obtain

an identity through the fairy tale wedding.

The rise of the new 'craft' weddings, with jars filled with wild flowers, home-made table decorations - all witnessing the tied labour of women in their production - or the habits of monetary gifts for the couple to spend on their honeymoon, herald some change to tradition. But they are still built on the delusion. The craft wedding is reflected in

Anna's installations of property dismembered, the artifacts of a hoped for ideal life - the dream of the perfect marriage as the act of defining the woman's identity.

The window display is the glass palace, an optical illusion, all sparkle ans reflection, within and beyond reach. Anna's wedding dress fluff and froth, with its armoured head a sanctuary for sanity, juxtaposes the intelligence of women with the "what was I thinking?"

And the dream persists. Many wedding dresses

are only worn once. They end up in op shops, fated to be used for fancy dress or in local theatre productions - discarded, ditched and desolate,

but still props for prettiness, pretence and performance.

The exhibition reminds the viewer of the classic "Muriel's Wedding". Muriel, so desperate to fit in, just wanted to be a bride. She sells her soul for a walk down the aisle in white. Her delusion becomes her reality .... until she awakes from the dream.

Once again, Anna challenges our thinking, as to what we take as the norm. Our dreams become our delusions. Our delusions become our dreams. And in this grand conflation, our life becomes

fairy floss. Anna asks why is this so? Where

does this power of delusion come from?

And, in shining a light of the silliness of it all,