Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Unbodied, Jedda-Daisy Culley’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Unbodied is a dramatic expression in psychoactive portraiture, exploring the metaphysical nature of the almighty mother as a monster-like form. These large-scale paintings seek to make seen the spirited, often see-through aspects of a woman’s power. Expansive and huge, these wide-open women are landscapes for the soul.
As Stella Rosa McDonald writes, “genre feels like a useless binary in relation to the works in Unbodied, which flit between landscape and figuration. Culley renders figures like territories and terrain, while her landscapes are alive with an almost physical dimension. Giant canvases mimetically capture a body in repose and standing. Although the pose is virtually identical across the works, each figure is subtly mutated through a play of colour and light. A breast in one becomes a baby in another, a shadow becomes a leak, and a seductive Venus becomes a monstrous mother. The figures are sensual and treacherous. Each work is made as a diptych as if to emphasise a rupture or split, and at the point the two canvases meet, a third image appears. The paintings speak simultaneously to the pleasures of inhabiting a body and the horror of being contained within one.
Culley’s work is characterised by its attention to light and vivid colour—as if the sun and earth had sprung a neon leak—and by its dedication to the many different aspects of the body. Since Culley began working as an artist in the late aughts—producing extraordinary, knitted half-nudes with tiny pink genitalia and urgent anatomical ink drawings that looked the way a body can feel—the banality, sensuality and force of the body has remained a mobilising focus of her work.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jedda-Daisy Culley’s (b. 1984, Australia) practice spans across painting, drawing, textiles, video, and sculpture. Each medium, in its own capacity tells a story of the inner tension and transformation of its maker – of her urge to hide but ultimate unwillingness to do so. Her practice explores the darker side of the female experience with a focus on feminist ideas of sex, expectation, motherhood, birth, and objectification. Interested in how cultural narratives have framed women as otherworldly monsters, Culley dismantles complex and misleading female (she/her) gender archetypes.
Culley holds a Master of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with First Class Honours from University of New South Wales, Australia. Solo exhibitions include: Fairy’s frogs and big angry floating babies, Cool Change Contemporary, Perth, Australia (2021), Pls send pics this feels one sided, Cement Fondu, Sydney, Australia (2021). Culley is a two-time Finalist of the Fisher’s Ghost prize (2022, 2021), a Finalist of the 66th Blake Prize (2021), and is collected by the Sherman Centre for Contemporary Ideas, Australia.