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Venus & Me

Oct 20, 2012  ·  2 min read

By Sharne Wolff

The first thing that strikes you about Mia Oatley’s new series of paintings is the stunning array of colour. To paint the female figures for Venus & Me, Oatley began with inspiration from Australian native birds and their habitats, that not only provided her with an exotic palette, but also several of the titles – Canary Women, Lorikeet Ladies and Fern Forest. In the larger works, bold sections of colour work to attract the viewer, and to organise space and depth in the pictures.

Venus mythology encompasses ideas about love and sex, beauty and seduction. Oatley has a fascination with the way women have been portrayed in art history from Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ to Manet’s ‘Olympia’. With Venus & Me she’s taken the opportunity to reinvent the female form from her perspective as a young Australian female. Each subject has a very individual look and communicates a different emotion or character. “I wanted to do more than just put a delicate pretty woman on a pedestal. My women are raw, in your face, beautiful, powerful and gentle all at once. A perfect expression of the force that is modern woman living in an extreme era”, says Oatley.

Richard Martin, Woollahra, Sydney

Until 24 October 2012


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