Vivienne Binns – Art and Life 

La Trobe University Museum of Art | 2 July – 24 August 2012

Curated by Dr Penny Peckham

For over forty years Australian artist Vivienne Binns has worked across a range of media, processes and contexts. In this exhibition guest curator Dr Penny Peckham brings together works from throughout her career in order to consider the significance of the autobiographical upon her practice. For Binns, art and life are inextricably linked and this exhibition will examine the ways in which personal relationships and events have, directly and indirectly, influenced her work.

Binns has frequently spoken of her practice being concerned with explicating the belief that there is no separation between life and art, that art is much more than something created by those individuals identified as artists that can be seen in art galleries, but is rather ‘a function of being human’. Her career as an artist has been concerned with questions such as: ‘What is this thing called art and what does it mean for humans?’ and ‘Why are some things called art and others not?’  This exhibition, then, is an exploration of the multiple ways in which Binns’ art has almost always been intricately connected to her own life, focusing upon several bodies of work where the connection is particularly explicit, either in terms of content or the ways in which the research has been directed by personal connections.

The earliest group shown are silkscreened enamels based upon family photographs. The second major grouping includes photographs and paintings belonging to the body of work that explores Australia’s relationship to the Pacific region, all of which had their genesis in personal relationships – family and friends. The most recent works, under the general title, In Memory of the Unknown Artist, may be seen as a series of detached, finely-crafted abstract paintings – however, in many cases these have a strong autobiographical element, made explicit by their titles.

LUMA | La Trobe University Museum of Art

Glenn College, Melborune Campus

Kingsbury Drive Bundoora, VIC 3086


Telephone: 03 9479 2111