COMING UP: Cathy Staughton’s Wonderous Imaginarium

It’s an exciting time of year when we showcase one of our long-standing artists in a major survey exhibition, and Cathy Staughton’s Wondrous Imaginarium will not disappoint.

Curated by Dr Cheryl Daye and James McDonald, the upcoming exhibition is a survey of Cathy Staughton’s work over more than 25 years. Focusing on autobiographical themes and portrayals of the self through various characters or guises, Cathy employs recurring motifs such as Luna Park, religious iconography and anthropomorphised creatures, to depict a vividly lived experience and a richly imagined alternative reality.

Dr Catherine Bell, Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts, School of Arts and Sciences at the Australian Catholic University, has written a catalogue essay after spending quite a bit of time with Cathy working on various collaborative art projects, as well as for research for her exhibition essay. Of her experience with Cathy and her work, Dr Bell says, “Cathy’s artwork presents her lived experience and explores the construction of self, from daily ritual, to fantastical dreamscape, which is a confrontation with her own unconscious…Cathy also appears in many works in a range of guises that allude to the mythic Trickster figure and his ability to morph between alternative realities.”

Cathy Staughton’s mother was approached by the curators and Dr Bell to share stories about Cathy and her art practice, and she talked about some of the themes and inspiration behind Cathy’s work, saying of Cathy’s propensity toward the macabre that “Death and dying just seemed to capture her imagination…She would drag us to all the cemeteries and ‘dig up’ my husband’s relatives.” Co-curator James McDonald also addresses this theme in his catalogue essay, saying “[Cathy] still is fascinated by worlds beyond the directly visible, but her preoccupations seem a little less macabre these days.”

There is a lot to see in this upcoming exhibition – expect the unexpected and prepare yourself to be immersed in the world of Cathy’s imagination, which explores the past, present, future and the dreamed.

Cathy Staughton’s Wondrous Imaginarium is supported by a full colour Leonard Joel Series catalogue, which vividly captures Staughton’s lived and dreamed experiences. This is Cathy Staughton’s fifth solo exhibition.

EXHIBITION: 24 August – 5 October 2013
OPENING: 24 August 2013 from 3-5pm
TO BE OPENED BY: Dr Catherine Bell, Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts, School of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University


Please visit the related exhibition page or contact the gallery.
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