WRITING SERVICES

Are you looking for someone to write for you?
My writing is accessible, engaging and deeply informed.

I have over 10 years' experience in arts writing, report writing and writing marketing copy,

and I am an endorsed member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). 
I can write artist statements, exhibition catalogue essays, artist interviews, policy documents, reports, reviews and more.

Contact me via l.mayhew@live.com.au to discuss your next project.

Lachie Rhodes, Kelly Gang After Sidney Nolan, 1947, 2020
Artist Q&A
Lachie Rhodes and Daniel Sherington, landscape, landscape, landscape, cityscape, Queensland College of Art, 8–19 June 2021

Louise: Something shared across your practices is this idea of redoing; revisiting, restaging and recycling pre-existing imagery and tropes. What attracts you to redoing as a creative strategy? And who are you thinking about or referencing, both explicitly and secretly?

...

Lachie: [Laughing] Daniel says "Henri Lefebvre" and I say "Dolly Parton."

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Mieke van den Berg
Exhibition Essay
Miele van den Berg, In-Between: [Re]Winding Life's Thread, The Old Ambulance Station, Jul 2021

This exhibition follows a bright red ball of wool. Here, it appears in the hands of the artist. There, it tangles around chairs. And everywhere we imagine it in our own hands. To make this sensation real, Mieke van den Berg sets a ball of wool in a wicker basket and invites us to unwind and rewind it’s thread. Drifting in and out of mindfulness, the simple task encourages patience, slowness and daydreams of craft, childhood and home. As you return the re-wound ball of wool to the kitchen table, the artist encourages us to leave these thoughts behind, signalling her desire to alleviate our daily woes or deeper troubles.
Full text and exhibition coming soon

Jeanette Stok, Vault
Exhibition Essay
Jeanette Stok, Point of Reference, Shoalgaven Regional Gallery, Jul 2021

At the metaphorical heart of Stok’s exhibition is Vault (2021). The sculptural installation is a materially fascinating form, comprised of large geometric panels and embellished with small decorative stitches. It’s twisted geometry proposes a state of anthropomorphic metamorphosis: hinged panels hint at the possibility of movement, as though its panels might walk, while its intricate and shiny surface alternately conjures an arachnid’s body and its web. 
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Anna Gonzalez
Exhibition Essay
Anna Gonzalez, Something Fishy, Queensland College of Art, June 2021

Anna Gonzalez’ photographed dioramas belong to a world without sunlight. Strange cut-out figures navigate her dark interiors and landscapes with disturbing fear, menace and glee. In Running Away (2020) a husband flees the scene. With oversized teeth the family dog lunges for his leg while his wife brandishes a dagger. Behind them, two figures pose in dramatic dance shapes atop a two-dimensional sea and a staircase. Their nonchalant lack of engagement with the violence of the foreground suggests the displaced emotions and confusing logic of dreams.
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Daniel Sherington
Exhibition Essay
Drawn, Redland Art Gallery, Feb 2021

Moving through this exhibition, drawing shifts from figuration to abstraction, photorealism to hastened sketch, scribbly line to neat typography. Collectively, Drawn champions the multiplicities of these lines, and favours art that is open to iteration, redoing, re-seeing and starting again.
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Janet Brereton, Modern Woman
Exhibition Essay
Drawn Threads, artisan, Dec 2020

Close observation of the physical threads on show offers one method for engaging with Drawn Thread. Find the smallest neatest stitches. Observe the radiant colour and possibilities of sequins. Admire the traditional skills and revel in moves beyond needlework conventions toward sculpture, installation, assemblage and craftivism. Think through what it means for Jill Kinnear to re/create woven forms with paper and transfer them to the digital screen. Imagine running your hands across the surface of each piece and sink into the comfort of Michelle Vine’s fur-lined bath. As you lie there, let me take you on another journey through this show. Follow the needle of my words as I weave between the artists and pull their artworks close.

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Cognitive Dissidents, installation view
Review
Cognitive Dissidents: Reasons to be Cheerful, Artlink, Sept 2020 

Stephen Jones describes Cognitive Dissidents as an exhibition that “looks at the range and possibilities that video opened up during its first two decades in Australia.” Jones knows, and is a part of, this history. His knowledge is made clear in his catalogue essay, which confidently reports one history of video art in Australia. Jones’ involvement is modestly tucked into footnotes and image credits. These reveal his role as technical assistant to Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman for their infamous 1976 Kaldor Art Project and, more recently, his role in digitising all of the works in exhibition. Rather than offering a definitive history, which might curtail selections, Jones’ curatorial premise feels expansive. It offers the works room to breathe and feels open to addition.

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Une Australienne.jpg
Review
The Past is Female: A Reading of Odd Roads and She Persists, Art Monthly Australasia, Spring 2020

Dressed in warm, layered textures of leather and fur, a striking young woman poses for her portrait. Around her neck, a brilliant chequered scarf in hues of orange, with browns and greys, mimics the delicate tangerine of her lips and the crowning persimmon of her hat. This painting, Une Australienne (1826) by Hilda Rix Nicholas, fills the cover of Odd Roads to be Walking: 156 Women who Shaped Australian Art. The sitter is close friend and fellow artist Dorothy Richmond, and Rix Nicolas casts her as a cosmopolitan Australian, equally legible in European and Antipodean settings. The book, designed by Kristin Thomas, borrows the paintings’ palette of a sunburnt orange and an understated teal for an elegant and solid publication. It brims with full-page colour reproductions. 
Read more in Art Monthly Australasia

Sean Crookes
Exhibition Essay
Sean Crookes, Generations, Grey Street Gallery, Queensland College of Art, Aug 2020

Sean Crookes’ lolly-coloured paintings conjure my childhood. They whisk me back to the sun-soaked floor of my bedroom, immersed in the colours and stories of illustrated children’s books. 

Pursuing these correlations between Crookes’ paintings and family life is easy. In each of his artworks we recognise the everyday-ness of the family home. This is not necessarily in the details of his paintings (that chair, that plant, that living room) but in the postures and poses of the people who inhabit them (an easy jog, an averted gaze, a hand on the hips mid-conversation) . . .
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New Woman.jpg
Review
New Woman, Museum of Brisbane, Sheila: A Foundation for Women in the Visual Arts, Mar 2020

A self-styled “new woman” of the Gilded Age positions herself in front of the camera. Sitting down, yet leaning forward, her pose is at once reminiscent of Rodin’s brooding thinker c1881 and rich with the suggestion of contained forward motion, as though she is poised to spring into action, to make concrete the plans she is formulating as she takes another drag on her cigarette and brings a stein of beer to her lips. Her legs are crossed, not demurely with knees together, but boldly with one ankle resting above the other knee, revealing the boots and stockings beneath her skirt. 
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Gradient
Chicks on Speed
Academic Writing
My research attends to Australian women-only art collectives, with special foci on the 1970s Women's Art Movement (WAM), the recuperation of women's needlework/craftivism, political posters, long-term collaborators including sisters (ie Soda_Jerk) and lovers (ie Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley) and contemporary intersections with relational aesthetics, selfies and social media.

For more on my academic writing, visit my academia profile.
For full copies of any text, queries, commissions or collaborations, email me via l.mayhew@live.com.au

 

WRITING

I have over 10 years' experience in writing accessible art texts, clear reports and enticing applications. I write artist statements, biographies, exhibition essays, artist interviews, policy documents, grant applications, reviews and more.

Contact me via l.mayhew@live.com.au to discuss your next project.