She's a Force
03 December to 26 January 2020
Josephine Cachemaille (b. 1971, New Zealand) is an award-winning installation artist who makes paintings, objects and assemblages. She approaches art-making as a place to engage with non-human things as bodies with needs, desires and agency. She describes objects, materials and media as “collaborators” who know things, contribute and have the capacity to act. Cachemaille often tasks her installations and artworks with specific functions or roles. For example, the cast bronze snakes in the current works have a history of participating as “power objects” in the making of other art work, and have been included in various installations and exhibitions, coming and going from her studio.
Now, making works she describes as “powerful wishes” for the future of her teenage daughter, Cachemaille has permanently recruited the snakes and their perceived powers, embedding them into her sculpture. They sit alongside symbolic paintings and soft sculpture suggestive of archetypal quests pushed through a filter of Greek mythology, feminism and personal psychology.
Cachemaille says “ I know all mothers and their children must separate, and despite the ubiquitous nature of this experience, it feels monumental and epic to me. My way of thinking through this is to conjure, to make powerful wishes in the form of artworks, all attentive to a positive future narrative for my daughter”.
Josephine has a degree in Psychology and a post-graduate diploma in Fine Art. She has won important awards and has had many solo and public exhibitions, and this year she is part of the New Zealand Special Presentation at the Beijing Biennale: A Colourful World and A Shared Future. She lives in Nelson, New Zealand with her husband, music journalist Grant Smithies, and their daughter Rosa.
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