Guns & Flowers. eX de Medici | Sidney Nolan

21 Oct 2023—17 Dec 2023

Guns & Flowers. eX de Medici | Sidney Nolan

Canberra Museum + Gallery
21 October 2023 – 31 March 2024

Lanyon Homestead
21 October – 17 December 2023

Image: eX de Medici. Elizabeth x Han Solo
(Shoot to Kill), 2021, watercolour on paper,
Private Collection courtesy Sullivan+Strumpf.
Photo by RDLI.

Guns and flowers represent two extremes. The gun as a weapon designed to threaten, defend, maim, or kill. The flower, structured with both female and male organs and alluringly coloured, shaped and scented to ensure its ongoing pollination. As imagery, both have been deployed within the work of artists eX de Medici and Sidney Nolan.

Throughout de Medici’s luscious and deceptively delicate watercolour paintings, and Sidney Nolan’s ‘Ned Kelly’ series, there is a deep consideration for both the historical and personal significance of the gun, and a deft and tender appreciation for the potency of flowers. In some works, the gun and the flower appear together, inviting us to consider the tensions and the surprising connections between them.

For both artists, the beautiful flower is not always what it seems, and the gun can seduce and control without a shot being fired.

Ex de Medici grew up and lives in Canberra and is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists. CMAG audiences will have the opportunity to see Medici's earliest works, made when she was part of the energetic first wave of independent artist-activists in Canberra in the early 1980s, to some of her most recent, travelling from her acclaimed retrospective at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. A new major work created especially for this exhibition, comes straight from the artists’ studio. 

For a limited time, acclaimed artist eX de Medici will present a site-specific installation made in response to the pink bedroom at Lanyon Homestead built for the young Cunningham bride in 1905. Featuring a new painting and delicate interventions to the furniture, the installation initiates a powerful dialogue with the way women occupied the historic homestead.