Bendigo Art Gallery
42 View Street, Bendigo VIC 3550
|30 Nov 19 - 19 Mar 20|
From the documentary to the allegorical, The Becoming brings together works from Bendigo Art Gallery’s collection attentive to the innocence and ephemeral nature of childhood, as well as the often complex terrain of navigating the rites of passage to adulthood.
Much has been written about nature vs nurture when articulating childhood development. While the general stages are universal, their expression is nuanced to specificities of culture, social context and place, as well as familial influence and individual personality. Generational influences also play a part, such as world events or significant social, ideological or technological change. It’s a swirling mix ensuring that while there are commonalities, each experience of ‘growing up’ is completely unique.
Women are biologically linked to childbirth and have traditionally played the lead role in childrearing. It is unsurprising then, that the work of women artists is well represented in this exhibition. Sharing lived female experience, often to raise consciousness of gender oppression, was the backbone of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s, when subjects like childbirth and parenting began to make their way into the discourse and politics of representation.
The works in this display reflect everyday experiences, anxieties, hopes and observations as well as imaginings, mythologies, cultural attitudes and approaches to parenting, children and their journey to adulthood. The artists speak to individual and shared experiences to unpack the primal exchange of raising another life and the physical and psychological evolution that this entails for both.