Emi­ly Floyd
The Dawn

21st November 2014 – 1st March 2015
National Gallery of Victoria

Fea­tur­ing bold, colour­ful sculp­tures and instal­la­tions, Emi­ly Floyd: The Dawn is a sur­vey exhi­bi­tion of select­ed works from Floyd’s remark­able career.

Emi­ly Floyd is renowned for her text-based and mod­ernist-inspired sculp­tures, includ­ing Pub­lic art strat­e­gy (2004) the house-sized black bird peck­ing its prey along the East­Link Freeway.

The exhi­bi­tion traces her career and will fea­ture some of her ear­li­est sculp­tures as well as sev­er­al new works com­mis­sioned for the exhi­bi­tion, such as a colour­ful, tem­po­rary library where vis­i­tors can relax and read texts that have inspired Floyd’s creations.

Emi­ly Floyd’s text-based sculp­tures and ped­a­gog­i­cal­ly inspired works stim­u­late debate about var­i­ous social, cul­tur­al and polit­i­cal ideas and explore inter­sec­tions between art, edu­ca­tion and play,” said Tony Ell­wood, Direc­tor, NGV. Emi­ly Floyd is one of Australia’s most excit­ing artists and her work will no doubt delight vis­i­tors of NGV Aus­tralia over summer.”

Floyd’s sculp­tures play­ful­ly exper­i­ment with shape, colour and text to engage the view­er and prompt dis­cus­sions about cul­tur­al, social and polit­i­cal ideas. The exhi­bi­tion takes its title from The Dawn: A Jour­nal for Aus­tralian Women, a women’s news­pa­per estab­lished in Syd­ney in 1888 by the poet, suf­fragette and enter­pris­ing busi­ness­woman Louisa Law­son, moth­er of Hen­ry Lawson.

Floyd also lends the title The Dawn to a new work com­mis­sioned by the NGV espe­cial­ly for the exhi­bi­tion. In this inter­ac­tive part-sculp­ture, part-library, large bright­ly coloured cir­cu­lar seat­ing and shelves cre­ate a con­vivial envi­ron­ment for vis­i­tors to rest in and explore a vast array of texts sourced from Melbourne’s Vic­to­ri­an Trades Hall book­store. Like its his­tor­i­cal name­sake, The Dawn (2014) encap­su­lates Floyd’s inter­ests in com­mu­ni­ty, fem­i­nism, activism, the print­ed word, open access and pub­lic art.

Also com­mis­sioned for Emi­ly Floyd: The Dawn is a remark­able suite of large-scale screen­prints, Solve your per­son­al prob­lems social­ly (2014). Reflect­ing Floyd’s inter­est in archives and local his­to­ries of social activism, the prints are based on man­i­festos from an archive estab­lished by the late activist Ruth Crow, who dur­ing her fifty years as a polit­i­cal and social activist, devel­oped an archive and donat­ed it to Vic­to­ria Uni­ver­si­ty in 1990.

Two works for chil­dren have been spe­cial­ly cre­at­ed for the exhi­bi­tion, includ­ing Small Press (2014), a ded­i­cat­ed edu­ca­tion­al pro­gram where chil­dren are invit­ed to make and pub­lish their own man­i­festo’ using stamps, type­writ­ers, pho­to­copiers and paper. In addi­tion, Word Farm (2014) is a tac­tile instal­la­tion of indi­vid­ual sculp­tur­al let­ters for chil­dren to arrange and play with in an explorato­ry way, echo­ing the strate­gies of many of Floyd’s ear­li­er text-based works. This project is in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the dis­tin­guished fur­ni­ture design­er and edu­ca­tor Mary Feath­er­ston and pro­vides a social space for families.

Images

Emi­ly Floyd

The Dawn, 2014
Instal­la­tion view, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne

Emi­ly Floyd

The Dawn, 2014
Instal­la­tion view, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne

Emi­ly Floyd

The Dawn, 2014
Instal­la­tion view, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne

Emi­ly Floyd

The Dawn, 2014
Instal­la­tion view, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne

Emi­ly Floyd

The Dawn, 2014
Instal­la­tion view, Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne