The Unswept Floor
12 March 2016 - 19 June 2016
Born in New Zealand, Glasgow-based artist Kate Davis has spent the first months of 2016 living and working in Dunedin as part of the Gallery’s Visiting Artist Programme. Her work strikes up a conversation with the past – creating opportunities to reconsider certain moments of social, political or historical significance, and to insert her own voice into these dialogues.
The Unswept Floor includes a survey of Davis’s work from the past decade, bringing together a series of films, drawings, prints and multiples. These works highlight her strong interest in feminism, and the role and depiction of women in society and art history.
Placed at the centre of the exhibition are Davis’s most recent works; a series of etchings titled On Sensitive Ground, which have been completed during her residency in Dunedin. These images are a result of the artist’s interest in interrogating certain value systems; exploring the parallels between unpaid domestic labour and the processes of printmaking. Challenging traditional notions of value, both culturally and economically, Davis offers her etchings as an alternative currency – one which makes a claim for the worth of activities like cleaning, caring and feeding.
Interested in exploring the connections between her own concerns and those of other artists, Davis often draws other artists into conversation with her own practice. In earlier works art historical figures as diverse as Diego Velázquez, Amedeo Modigliani, Barbara Hepworth and Jo Spence emerge as key reference points. In The Unswept Floor, Davis has used artworks from the collections of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the Hocken Collections, Aigantighe Art Gallery and CIRCUIT to create a New Zealand context for her work.
Download the exhibition guide
A Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artists Project supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and the Dunedin School of Art.