30 July–01 October 202230 Jul–01 Oct 2022
Can we use the talking cure to solve society’s ‘problem’ with women?
Natalya Hughes’ The Interior invites audiences into an exaggerated consultation room, playfully furnished for psychoanalysis. The immersive installation—combining sculptural seating, richly patterned soft furnishings, and uncanny objets d’art, nestled around a hand-painted mural—generates a stimulating space to unpack our collective and unconscious biases.
Interested in the role of women and their historical absence from positions of power, Hughes’ part-professional, part-domestic setting plays with gendered power dynamics between public and private space. The bespoke couches that dot the gallery take their lush contours from the shapes of the female body, while motifs of eyes, rats, and snakes from Freud’s patient case studies ripple over their detailed upholstery.
Audiences are invited to recline and be enveloped, soothed and held, by the furniture’s womanly forms, while taking turns playing analyst and patient. Throughout this bodily encounter, The Interior offers a space where women can be reimagined on different terms in a post–Me Too world.
The Interior is a travelling exhibition organised by the Institute of Modern Art and toured by Museums and Galleries Queensland. The tour has been assisted by the Australian Government though the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Australia Council’s Contemporary Touring initiative, the Fini Artist Fellowship through the Sheila Foundation, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, and Porter’s Paints, New Farm.
Artist BioNatalya Hughes
Natalya Hughes is concerned with decorative and ornamental traditions and their associations with the feminine, the body, and excess. Her recent work investigates the relationship between famous modernist painters and their anonymous women subjects.
Hughes completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, in 2001, and a PhD in Art Theory at the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2009.
Her work has been included in shows at Queensland Art Gallery|Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane (2019, 2017, and 2012), Artspace in Sydney (2016), Hazelhurst Regional Gallery (2015), Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne (2009), and Tarrawarra Museum of Art (2006). Hughes won the Sunshine Coast Art Prize in 2020.
Hughes lives in Brisbane and is Honours Program Director, Visual Arts, at the Queensland College of Art. She is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane, and Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney.Related EventsRelated Resources
The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.