Julia Kristeva’s Black Sun (1989) raises the idea that melancholy from loss of love can be transformed creatively by giving visibility where there is a void; that art can be an object replacing the love that was lost.
For Love and light Yvette Coppersmith has produced a new series of still life paintings which also function as self-portraits. Collaborative in nature, the project began through the exercise of asking former lovers to create a model of a reclining nude in remembrance of the artist’s body.
Exploring ideas of memory, loss and desire, the resulting figures served as the subjects for a series of paintings that distort notions of the male gaze. Presented as a reclaimed trove of relationship artefacts and a gestural recollection of the self, the artistic interpretation of the figures serve to assert the artist’s body and reframe the memory of each relationship – a transference of love from the transient exchange to the artwork itself.
Coppersmith holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts, 2001. Recent solo exhibitions include Art House, Chalk Horse, Melbourne Art Fair, 2012; Summer House, Gallery Ecosse, Exeter, 2011; Loft Suite, Chalk Horse, Sydney, 2010; The Opera Room, Horus and Deloris, Sydney, 2009; Blue Series, Blindside Artist Run Space, Melbourne, 2008; and Still/Moving (with Jacqui Stockdale), Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne, 2006. Selected group exhibitions includeBreathing Room, curated by Jaime Tsai, MOP Projects, Sydney, 2013; High Definition, Paradise Hills, Richmond, 2011; The Carnival of Mysteries, performing as the Carnival Hand Portraitist, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne International Arts Festival, 2010; The Outsider, Trocadero Art Space, Footscray; Selecta, West Space, Melbourne, 2005; and New Growth, Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla, 2005. Coppersmith was winner of the inaugural Metro 5 Art Prize in 2003 and the Maude Glover Fleay Award, VCA Graduate Exhibition, in 2001. She has been finalist in the Rick Amor Self Portrait Prize, Arthur Guy Painting Prize, Fletcher Jones Art Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Archibald Prize and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.
Love and light will take place in the Project Room at Utopian Slumps from 15 March to 5 April 2014.