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'Mother Nature is a Lesbian' Exhibition at the Flinders City Gallery

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by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
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Political art on the street
Anarchist Feminist Poster Collective Mother Nature is a Lesbian (detail) 1981 screenprint
Anarchist Feminist Poster Collective Mother Nature is a Lesbian (detail) 1981 screenprint

Radical Poster Art
In the last decades of the 20th century, posters promoting political causes used a potent mix of typography and illustration to become a highly visible, if transient, art form.
Now the posters are back: taking its title from a 1980s poster by the Anarchist Feminist Poster Collective, Mother Nature is a Lesbian is a new exhibition at the Flinders City Gallery.

Flinders City Gallery
This gallery space cohabitates within the State Library on North Terrace, Adelaide.
It is a large, spacious room towards the back left hand side of the main entrance foyer. It regularly has excellent retrospectives on display.
Flinders City Gallery image
Flinders City Gallery image

Political Ideals in Art
The recently opened exhibition provocatively titled Mother Nature is a Lesbian, echoes the political ideals of an emerging political consciousness.

The exhibition explores political printmaking in South Australia in the 1970's and 1980's.

The exhibition is a tribute to the tradition of radical poster art, and documents the contribution of its South Australian exponents to an era of international political printmaking.

The posters on show were produced between 1973 and 1988.
Curator Celia Dettore
Curator Celia Dettore

The show has been curated by Flinders University Art Museum exhibitions manager Celia Dottore, who has drawn on the extensive range of posters that form part of the University's collection of printed works, supplemented by some additional works loaned by artists.

"I had a huge amount to select from and narrow down," Ms Dottore said.

Posters are grouped by theme, with an explanatory text panel for each: war, feminism, race relations, workers' rights, sexual equality and environmental protection all feature.

Poster Art
Although the local politics of the time were dominated by the socially progressive Labor Dunstan government, some of the policies of the Fraser Federal government inspired strident responses from the poster makers, as did perennial issues such as uranium mining.

Hand Printed - Pre-Digital
While many of the posters are linked to specific events such as marches or rallies, others take a broader view. One series of images, dedicated to opposing apartheid, was produced in the Visual Arts Studio at Flinders by a South-African born PhD student.

While intended for cheap mass production, the works are all pre-digital.

"The artists were using the technology of the time, so they are all hand-printed," Ms Dottore said.

Flinders City Gallery
Flinders City Gallery image

Opening Times
The exhibition opened on May 9th and will run until 13 July in the Flinders City Gallery, located within the State Library on North Terrace. Gallery hours are 11am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and noon to 4pm on weekends.

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Why? Poster Art of the 70's and 80's
When: May 9th until July 13, 2014.
Where: Flinders City Gallery
Cost: Free
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