As She Appears: The Muse in Art

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Unknown: Karnta Jukurrpa (Women's Dreaming) 1986, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

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Consider community and country as inspiration in the work of Indigenous artists, writers and performers, responding to women artists currently on display in Marking Time: Indigenous Art from the NGV.

Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.


Portrait of Judith Ryan

Judith Ryan

Judith Ryan is Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) where she has curatorial responsibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Oceanic Art and Pre-Columbian Art. 

Portrait of Bridget Caldwell

Bridget Caldwell

Bridget Caldwell is a Jingili Mudburra writer and editor currently based in Narrm/Birraranga. She works as co-editor for Archer Magazine as well as literary journal The Lifted Brow. She was previously managing editor for Blak Brow, a Black Women’s Collective edition of The Lifted Brow.

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As She Appears: The Muse in Art

The idea of the artistic muse dates back to classical mythology and enjoyed a surprisingly long run as a celebrated, romanticised notion in western art. Today, the notion seems archaic – at least in its traditional sense – yet many artists are still preoccupied with the figure of the muse, even if they’re more concerned with distorting and subverting old ideas of female representation.

What’s the line between inspiration and objectification? And how and when does the muse return or deflect the artist’s gaze? When does the muse reveal herself, and when does she reveal more about her creator?

In this series of after-hours events at the NGV, uncover the many meanings of the muse with curators, writers and performers. They’ll respond to works in the NGV Collection – talking representation, inspiration, family and the female body.

Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria.

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