Louise Weaver, 'Taking a Chance on Love' 2003 (detail)

Offering an exhibition containing fantastical creatures, iridescent other worlds, minute details from nature and uncanny objects with unsettling organic forms, the Buxton Contemporary's latest show opens today titled, Between appearances: the art of Louise Weaver. Showing an exhibition that references Weaver’s fascination with cycles of growth, transformation and metamorphosis, the exhibition works with the themes of camouflage, the dynamics and fragility of the natural world, knowledge, memory and the power of mythology and make-believe. Best known for her whimsical, thought-provoking sculptures of animals this exhibition encompasses more than 100 works in diverse media including sculptural installations, paintings, drawings, printmaking, collage, textiles, movement and sound.

The exhibition spans more than three decades of Louise Weaver’s distinctive work and represents the most extensive solo survey of her work to date. It’s the second major monographic exhibition at Buxton Contemporary that celebrates one of the esteemed artists represented in the Michael Buxton Collection at the University of Melbourne.

Curated by Melissa Keys Between appearances: the art of Louise Weaver will unfold across all four of the museum’s galleries. It comprises an overview of Weaver’s richly imaginative, critical and compelling work from the late eighties through to the present day tracing her gradual shift from early figurative forms and compositions through to abstract paintings, objects and sound environments.

Louise Weaver, 'Taking a Chance on Love' 2003 (detail) high density foam, hand crocheted cotton and lamb's wool, linen, silk, polyester, glass, rubber, plastic, acetate, aluminium, silver lea f, acrylic paint, wood, stone, polyester flowers cut and sealed with high frequency sound waves (recouped from Issey Miyake evening bag)

Exploring Weaver’s art, one constantly encounters layers, veils and screens, curtains, skins and other surfaces variously suggesting multiple states and dimensions, one thing inside another, her work constantly infers shifting appearances, timeframes and unfolding possibilities.

Fascinated by the natural world and drawing on diverse interests in visual culture, art history, natural history, science, design and Haute-couture, Weaver’s practice addresses social themes and ideas including the environment, feminism, artificiality and transformation. 

Highlights include:

  • Examples of early paintings and drawings including the enigmatic painting Man falling from a horse, 1988, which appropriates and reworks an image from a childhood book encountered by the artist in her family home. Weaver sees this work as a precursor to her later artistic interests, illustrating her early relationship to narrative and to the use of repetitive mark making applied to cover, disguise, alter and animate an existing scene.

  • Two new specially commissioned large-scale paintings, Diagram for the structures of feeling (Lilac sea) 2019 and Diagram for the structures of feeling (The Green Ray) 2019 shimmer with bands of iridescent colour and suggest the soulful shifting light and heightened colour of sunset over vast expanses of water. Registering as both landscapes and abstract fields of emotion these paintings, in part make reference, in palette, form and oceanic feeling, to works by the French Intimist artist Felix Vallotton.

For art that fascinates and surprises the viewer, Between appearances: the art of Louise Weaver is a must-see at the Buxton Contemporary, on til February 2020!


Dates: 15 November 2019 - 9 February 2020

Location: Buxton Contemporary, the University of Melbourne Cnr Dodds St & Southbank Blvd, Southbank

Times: Wed – Sun; 11am – 5pm

Cost: Free 

Buxton Contemporary Website