Impressa by Anna Davern
‘Impressa’ Exhibition at e.g.etal, 167 Flinders Lane, Melbourne from May 11-23, 2015.
Impressa is a new exhibition of brooches and metal collage artwork by contemporary jeweller Anna Davern.
The collection references portrait miniatures, or Impressa, featuring pictures of people from Australian political and social life as a means to dissect clichéd images of Australian identity.
Using images found on old biscuit tins or historical photos printed on to metal, Davern slices, rearranges and reconstructs these pictures to create works that trick the eye with their disconcerting familiarity. Like the judder of an old projection film or the staccato rhythm of a child’s flipbook, Davern’s portraits draw the viewer in, as our minds rush to make sense of the jumble of images.
By slicing and reworking these cult-like symbols their power over us becomes fluid and slippery. As objects of adornment seen through the lens of the Impressa, they offer a reflection on our cultural roots, which lie in the colonisation of Australia by the British.
Unafraid to move freely between lo-fi kitsch and the precious object, Anna continues to develop a visual language with the power to question our loyalties to conservatism. Her humorous renditions of cultural identification allay our fears of deeper, more critical discussions about political and social life, and to this end the brooches laugh at romantic notions of allegiance and turn them upside down.
Join us in the gallery for drinks with the artist from 5-7pm on Friday, May 15.
Impressa is part of Melbourne International Design Week.