ANITA DE SOTO
Our Frocks Like Mountains
13 April – 26 May 2019
Our Frocks Like Mountains presents a series of works from Anita DeSoto’s three-month residency in Riverton, as the Southland Art Foundation’s William Hodges Fellow 2018. The paintings are a reinterpretation of local colonial women and a celebration of the Suffrage 125th Anniversary. Working with historic photographs sourced from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Gore Historical Museum and Riverton/Aparima Heritage Society, DeSoto presents a broad representation of women of different ages, social status and race.
“At first glance the paintings suggest a tableaux of benign domestication however their re-rendering portrays an alternative; a restlessness akin to the tectonic forces which shape the snow- flanked mountain ranges dominating the skyline in Riverton where DeSoto worked. Retrieved from the archives DeSoto sets out not to simply re-present the historic subjects but to liberate them. Her subjects are no longer fixed in a photographic portrait but activated through a blurring echoing the unrepentant velocity of Southland’s southerly winds.” - Ana Terry 2018
Anita DeSoto, Our Frocks Like Mountains, 2018, oil on aluminium panel