UNSW Galleries

Debra Porch

Art Should Make Life More Interesting Than Art

The work of Debra Porch (1954–2017) explores the potency of memory and its ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Using textiles, thread, hair and electroplated objects, Porch created visual mechanisms that reorientate our sense of the familiar and forge connections between the present and past. As an artist and researcher, Porch drew from her experiences as an academic in Sydney and Brisbane, residencies undertaken in Armenia, France, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States, and the memories of her family who were refugees from the Armenian Genocide.

As a posthumous survey, the exhibition acknowledges the impossibility of recreating Porch’s installations that were often arranged by the artist in situ. Instead, it proposes a model of exhibition-making that is part archive and dynamic workspace, playing out different permutations of objects and images drawn from Porch’s home studio and private collections. Featured amongst these elements is An archive of ordinary space 2017, Porch’s final project completed a month before her premature passing. The installation depicts a ghostly spectrum of colour made with a hundred gold needles and silk thread.

The exhibition takes its title from Annette Messager’s rephrasing of the credo ‘Art is what makes life more interesting than art’ by Fluxus pioneer Robert Filliou. For Porch, this was one of her driving forces.

Curated by José Da Silva.

21 Jun - 7 Sep

UNSW Galleries

Cnr Oxford Street and Greens Road Paddington NSW 2021