Realising Mother Panel

Tuesday 14 November, 5:30 – 7:30PM

Featuring Sally McInerney, Rafaela Pandolfini, Sarah Rhodes, with curator Zorica Purlija. 

The Realising Mother Panel will be chaired by Serafina Lee in support of the Emerging Critic Award 2017.


Join Kudos Gallery for a discussion of the works and ideas underpinning the exhibition Realising Mother. Serafina Lee will lead the panel as they tease out the plurality of maternal experiences, the history of art, and the legacy of exhibitions representing the maternal body and the social and cultural dynamics at play in reproduction.


About Realising Mother

Realising Mother is a new exhibition presenting photographic, video and blog works by a collection of emerging and established Australian women artists. The exhibition investigates the role of the mother in our culture and the histories that continue to shape that role. The photographic image is, as always, in flux. We are experiencing a glut of imagery through social media. The photograph has chameleon qualities and can adapt itself to many forms. An excessive media-fed society impacted by globalisation and other phenomena distorts the image and its meanings. Realising Mother looks at how this affects us all, and explores the issues surrounding the maternal experience. These artists question how we realise and frame images of motherhood and the way the medium of photography has the power to describe real experiences. This exhibition aims to free us from preconceived ideas and myths around motherhood, replacing them with narratives more relevant to our contemporary experience. Issues explored by these talented artists include: marginalised young mothers, maternal ambivalence, mother daughter relationships, the aging mother, intergenerational inheritance, the loss of identity as mother, the centrality of the mother figure in the family, LBGTQ families and the role of the mother in indigenous cultures. This exhibition takes inspiration from the real experience of photographic artist, and the curator of Realising Mother, Zorica Purlija’s role as a mother of three. Purlija also recognises the Women’s Art Movement in Australia (formed in 1974) and Catriona Moore’s book Indecent Exposures (1994) as significant contributions to interpreting the role of women and mothers in contemporary society. The work of these important Australian feminist artists from the 70’s and 80’s was serious and morally and ethically driven. Their aims were to create change culturally and socially regarding the female subject, social and sexual freedoms, interrogating the idea of the male gaze. Realising Mother looks at what has changed in the last forty years because of this important work by feminist artists still in our midst, and the ways artists continue to reinterpret the role of mother.

Realising Mother


About the Emerging Critic Award 

The Emerging Critic Award is a new initiative presented by Kudos Gallery and Framework, sponsored by Art & Design Student Council.

The award invites UNSW Art & Design students to work alongside the winner of the Early Career Curator Award to develop a critical piece of writing in response to the exhibition. The critic is then supported in expanding the ideas from their text into a public discussion with the artists exhibiting in the winning curator’s exhibition.

Serafina Lee is the inaugural recipient of this unique prize for emerging art critics. 

Realising Mother is curated by Zorica Purlija as part of the Early Career Curator Award, supported by Kudos Gallery with Arc @ UNSW Art & Design and Art & Design Student Council.

Cover Image: Clare Rae 1D04 from the series 20+9+5, 2015.

Kudos Coordinator

Abigail Montgomery

P:(02) 9065 0981

A:Ground Floor D Block, Greens Rd, Paddington