Beside Myself is an exhibition of 108 A4 drawings completed between 2014 and 2017 by Perth-based artist Gemma Watson. Watson’s ‘archive’ processes tropes of pop-cultural nostalgia, google-image body horror and psychological agitation through automatic drawing and writing, collage, scrapbooking and printmedia. This loose map of connections between The Simpsons, sticker collections, modernist painting, nervous doodling, pareidolia and emotive projection is juxtaposed with small anthropomorphic sculptures that frame the gallery as a public ‘interior’. Beside Myself proposes an analogue between masses of production, representation and bodies, asking what kinds of self-expression and collective identification are possible when those masses are irrepressible.
Based in Perth, Gemma Watson has exhibited nationally as an individual and as part of a number of collaborative partnerships. Recent projects include Major Tender (2016), an exhibition of artist-curator collaborations led by Brigid Noone at the former Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia; Bedshed (2016), curated by Jessie Bullivant at 7UP, a new iteration of Seventh Gallery in Melbourne, and do what you wanna do be who you wanna be yeah (2015), a solo exhibition at Adult Contemporary, North Perth. Watson has also published writing on contemporary art in a number of publications including eyeline and un Magazine, and is one third of Artist Run Conspiritorium Pet Projects. Until recently, Pet Projects ran as a gallery space in Bayswater, WA, but will in 2017 exhibit at Campbelltown Art Centre, NSW in Looking at me through you, curated by Megan Monte.
Exhibition opening Friday 2 June from 6pm
Image credit: Gemma Watson, Family Portrait (detail), 2016, Digital print from biro drawing. 29.7 x 21cm