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Flesh after Fifty Changing images of older women in Art 28 March – 3 May 2020 (postponed)

2020 Archive copy>


We live in a society swamped with images, where high value is placed on physical appearance and an association between attractiveness and youth, particularly for women. Flesh after Fifty will explore and challenge negative stereotypes of aging whilst celebrating and promoting positive images of older women through art.

Australian artists have a history of photographing, painting and sculpting the female form, mostly by and for men whose interest in exploring youth, vulnerability and beauty has dominated the images we recognise. The way in which artists portray older women often reflects public attitudes. Images of older women have changed over the last century as fashion, community, politics and society have changed. Much of the time, images of older women are absent altogether. Some artists, however, are able to rise above fashion and convention to externalise personal desires and aspirations that challenge preconceived perceptions and expectations.

Flesh after Fifty will bring to the fore images that need revisiting or have been overlooked from key Australian public collections. Re-interpreting images will be a focus for this exhibition, exploring untold stories that reveal the way in-which fashion, ageism and oppression of women has influenced which images/art have become popular and how that has affected the way in which women artists are represented in collections today. Contemporary and newly commissioned art made by Victorian artists will be included.

A variety of talks, forums, events and functions will be held to coincide with the exhibition in 2020.

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