AGWA artists talks provide a Year 12 Perspectives insight


Mairead Chapman. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Mairead Chapman. Picture: Martin Kennealey

MAIREAD Chapman’s latest artwork echoes masterpieces from Mexican self-portrait painter and feminist icon Frida Kahlo.

The self-portrait questions the role of what women ‘should’ be in contemporary society and stresses the importance of gender equality.

The painting sits among others from WA’s most talented graduating high school artists as part of the Year 12 Perspectives exhibition, running in conjunction with Artist Talks at Art Gallery WA.

Chapman, formerly a John XXIII College student, said she discovered Kahlo at school and instantly admired her feminist compositions.

“I really like her because she was a very successful female painter when they weren’t really acknowledged that much,” she said.

“I think it was great that she went outside the box a lot.”

The 18-year-old will discuss themes at play in her work at the Artist Talks free event this month.

“There are attitudes saying women should be perfect, angelic and pure: I think that regardless of gender, you should be whoever you want to be,” Chapman said.

Her passion for art blossomed in Year 1 and remained her favourite class.

“I like art because you create something by yourself – in other subjects you are just memorising things that a bunch of people are telling you you need to know, but in art it is all by yourself,” she said.

Majoring in human biology at university, Chapman is planning a career in dentistry while continuing to dabble in art.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Artist Talks

Where: Art Gallery of Western Australia

When: Saturday, March 11, Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, April 2