From Sharne Wolff…
When I was a kid at school, Textas were so special that you were defined in the classroom by the size of your collection and the number of colours in your pencil case. After an accidental experiment over a decade ago, TextaQueen’s main medium is the now ubiquitous texta (or ‘felt-tip coloured pen’). The intensely bright colour of the markers, together with the trademark superhero TextaQueen outfits, blend a naïve aesthetic with a sense of childlike innocence. It’s a clever ploy to subvert the powerful messages being conveyed by these pictures – all of which are drawn on cotton paper.
In the past, the artist has exposed everything from racial politics and stereotyping to the realities of the social underclass and the treatment of women. In Unknown Artist TextaQueen’s subject matter has become more introspective as the artist assumes a number of different guises having traced the family ancestry back to Goa in India. The artist says, ‘I feel my body holds that memory, even if… my interpretation of it is through my contemporary, born and raised in Australia, lens’. In the drawings, TextaQueen becomes Ghandi and Jesus (or the Virgin Mary?) – and explores memory, religion, personal relationships and cultural identity with a show that is intensely ‘personal and cathartic’.
Don’t bother taking your money with you because this show is already sold out – with major public institutions snapping up most work at the opening.
Until March 9
Sullivan + Strumpf Fine Art, Zetland.
Pic: TextaQueen, Call of the Crocotta 2012. Felt tip, coloured pencil and acrylic paint on stonehenge cotton paper, 97 x 127 cm . Courtesy the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney