Minna Gilligan
Rhinestone Cowgirl
7 February - 3 March 2018

Rhinestone Cowgirl is my star spangled rodeo. A reemergence. A reinvention. (Hopefully one of many.)” - Minna Gilligan 2018

Minna Gilligan’s practice speaks of fleeting, personal encounters with the past and present, and manifests in a tumultuous reconciliation of both. Her Rhinestone Cowgirl paintings are playgrounds of saturated colour, tie-dye patterns and laboriously hand-stitched sequins. In them Gilligan references commodified 1960s and 1970s Country and Western imagery in popular culture, and comments on the construction of personal image and reputation reinvention, “as a woman who is vaguely present in a small but public online sphere”. Taking inspiration from pop icons, she explores identity, authenticity and a nostalgic interpretation of a ‘rhinestone cowgirl’ aesthetic. 

Minna Gilligan has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts. She has held solo exhibitions at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Castlemaine Art Museum, Daine Singer, Melbourne Art Fair, Spring 1883, West Space, TCB Art Inc, Rear View and Dudspace (Melbourne) and participated in group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), National Galley of Australia (Canberra), Heide Museum of Art (Melbourne), Alt Space (New York), Ontario College of Art and Design (Canada), Space 15 Twenty (Los Angeles), PICA (Perth), Spring 1883 (Sydney), Papermill ARI (Sydney), and in Melbourne at Knight Street Art Space, TCB Art Inc, George Paton Gallery and Gilligan Grant Gallery.

Gilligan has published three books: Time After Time (Hardie Grant Australia/ Rizzoli New York, 2015), Poems, Prayers and Promises (commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, 2015), and So Far (Bywater Bros, Canada, 2016). Gilligan has been a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary and her work is in the National Gallery of Australia and Deakin University collections. As part of the band Pamela, she has performed at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Daine Singer (Melbourne), Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney) and the Ian Potter Museum of Art (Melbourne).

Read the catalogue essay by Minna Gilligan >>

Minna Gilligan in conversation with Emma Nixon >>