photo: SUEMASA Mareo

Camouflaged: New Zealand Four

ArtistJemima WYMAN
Material/ Techniqueacrylic on canvas
Size/ DurationH213×W168cm
Copyright Notice© Jemima WYMAN
courtesy: Milani Gallery
Year of acquisition/ donation2012
DescriptionBorn in Sydney, Australia in 1977. Lives and works in Brisbane, Australia and Los Angeles, USA.

After graduating in visual arts from the Queensland University of Technology in 1997, Wyman obtained an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. She creates videos, paintings, and photo collages that highlight the role of clothing in exposing or hiding the inner life of human beings. Combining reality and fiction, she examines the meaning of adaptation to the conventions and customs of society and relationships between individuals and groups. In 2005, she and Anna MEYER formed a performance duo called CamLab. All of her work turns a critical gaze on society with an expressive approach that utilizes humor.

Wyman’s series of works entitled ‘Combat Drag’ was inspired by the Zapatistas, a guerilla organization based in Chiapas, Mexico. These works portray figures wearing balaclava masks like those used by the Zapatistas and deal with the ambiguity involved in conveying thoughts from inside a person to the outside and examining how inner realities are understood from the outside. The video work "Combat Drag" presents the spontaneous involvement of people in a resistance action and shows how determinations of difference and identity are closely related to the maintenance of community. The artist demonstrates the function of camouflage in preventing discovery with patterns of clothing in which figure and ground are blended. In the painting, "Camouflaged: New Zealand Four", she examines how the uniqueness of the individual can be buried in the social body and the environment. Wyman’s use of bright colors and close relationships between landscape and human beings intrudes on the viewer’s senses, producing a somewhat forced confrontation with reality that does not allow time for rational judgment.