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About the DAAO

Design & Art Australia Online (DAAO) is a collaborative e-Research tool built upon the foundations of the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online. DAAO is an open source freely accessible scholarly e-Research tool that presents biographical data about Australian artists, designers, craftspeople and curators. A framework of open access intellectual property rights is an underlying principle of DAAO. We are committed to sharing information and collaborative research. We welcome all committed researchers, be they artists, family historians or affiliated academics, to engage in the principles of public scholarly research by contributing to DAAO's growing database.

Raquel Ormella, Artists as Cartoonists, or Extended Black and White

Raquel Ormella, Artists as Cartoonists, or Extended Black & White
Curated by Jasmin Stephens
The Cross Art Projects, 25 June to 23 July 2016

About the exhibition
This exhibition presents two new works by Raquel Ormella. Pages from the graphic novel, Joan Kerr and the Mysterious Vanessa, are displayed in the gallery.
Inspired by the writings of art historian Joan Kerr, Raquel’s graphic novel explores how artists represent artists in art history. In the comic, Joan is joined by Raquel, artists Vanessa Berry and Elizabeth Pulie, curator Jasmin Stephens, and 1960s cartoonist and illustrator Mollie Horseman. Elizabeth’s magazine, Lives of the Artists, (2002-2005) also features.

To find out more read on:
Artists as Cartoonists, or Extended Black & White takes as its starting point a series of entries by art historian Joan Kerr in the national database, the DAAO (Design and Art Australia Online), and in the exhibition catalogue, Artists and Cartoonists in Black and White: The Most Public Art (1999).

The DAAO entry from 1996 links a ‘Sydney zine cartoonist’ “Vanessa” to a 1960s cartoonist and illustrator with the same nom de plume. The earlier “Vanessa” is listed online as Mollie Horseman but intriguingly is described in the catalogue as ‘unknown’. Found by Raquel while using the DAAO as a teaching resource, this discrepancy has become a question that she tries to answer and restate through the form of a graphic novel.

Joan Kerr (1938-2004) wrote on many aspects of Australian art, architecture and culture. As editor of two biographical dictionaries, the Dictionary of Australian Artists, Painters, Sketchers, Photographers and Engravers to 1870 (1992) and Heritage: The National Women’s Art Book (1995), her research along with the scholarship of Dr Vivien Johnson, provided the impetus for the establishment of the DAAO. Less well known is her championing of cartoons as works of art which she regarded as exemplifying feminist critique in their form and content.

In this exhibition Ormella reflects on the development of her political consciousness as she revisits sites such as the Fine Arts Department at Sydney University and recent zine culture. By conversing with her peers and by returning to Kerr’s original entries, Ormella is positing a shared history from which we are able to consider the role of data and archives in shaping how we apprehend art and culture in general.
There is a group of election posters [Australian Federal Elections, 2 July 2016], What would Joan do? in the front window of The Cross Art Projects.


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(Left) Raquel Ormella, The Mysterious Vanessa – CMYK (a page from ‘Artists as Cartoonists, or Extended Black and White’), 2016. Digital print. Courtesy the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane (Right) Raquel Ormella, from The Mysterious Vanessa – CMYK (a page from ‘Artists as Cartoonists, or Extended Black and White’), 2016. Page from graphic novel.