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  • Meet the artist: Leah King-Smith

Meet the artist: Leah King-Smith

12 October 2019

Join artist Leah King-Smith as she speaks to her practice of 'photography dreaming'.

Meet the artist:
Leah King-Smith

2pm Saturday 12 October
Free event

‘In my use of camera, mirror, scanner and photo editor, I choose to layer and sometimes distort multiple lenses and perspectives. By weaving photographic moments and places together, I am constructing a web of connections – of associations that expand the view, as it were, beyond the foreground/middle‐ground/background relationships of a one‐lens perspective. I could say that my work is photography dreaming.’ – Leah King‐Smith

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About the exhibition

Leah King-Smith (1957– ) is a Bigambul descendent born in Gympie, Queensland and currently living and working in Brisbane. Dreaming Mum again weaves together layers of photographic references, including portraits of her mother, Bigambul woman, Pearl King.

Images of Pearl King come from the artist’s father who was a keen family photographer, developing and printing his own medium-format, black and white negatives. Tom King’s images appear here both as reproductions and as the seminal layers of King-Smith’s large scale photomedia interpretations. The artist’s sister, Philippa King has also contributed stories, which provide a glimpse of the King family history through anecdotes about and conversations with Pearl King over the years.

In their various sizes and textures, King-Smith’s layered images place the artist’s mother within a web of surfaces and scenes related to her history. Of this, King-Smith says; “In my work, veins and threads are like the warp and weft of woven fabrics, where patterns of interconnection and interrelationship construct dancing forms and ideations. Mum is in the fabric of Bigambul Country. She is simultaneously mother, free agent, lover, model and majestic power.”

This is a stylistic return for King-Smith, who is renowned for her 1991 series Patterns of Connection, which she made during a residency at the State Library of Victoria. The series proposes a decolonising perspective of 19th century Government-commissioned photographs of Victorian Koori people who were confined to Aboriginal reserves. In both series, King-Smith weaves together different moments to suggest ideas of transcendence and interconnectedness.

In 2018, King-Smith entered ‘Baby’ into the Bowness Photography Prize. The work was subsequently acquired for the MGA Collection and joined the Gallery’s holdings of three works from the 1991 series Patterns of connection. MGA is honoured to be showing this work by King-Smith, as a past Bowness finalist, alongside the next iteration of the prize.

Curators: Pippa Milne and Gareth Syvret

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