Drawing and illustration rarely floats my boat. I find that, more than any other genre, this style of art tends to focus more on technical ability and less on telling a story or send a message. To me, art without meaning is like fairy floss – pretty to look at, sweet to taste, but not a lot of substance.
Australian illustrator Kirsty Bruce is an exception. Bruce is now exhibiting as part of the I Walk The Line: New Australian Drawing currently exhibiting at MCA Sydney, and has exhibited at Boutwell Draper. Bruce’s work differs from many of her contemporaries for its liberal use of colour, and her young perspective on female oppression and equality through symbols such as finishing schools, cheerleading squads, beauty contests and the like. Bruce draws the subject into sharp focus by avoiding any backgrounds or embellishments, as if it were cut from the pages of a magazine. In doing so, she is also commenting on how modern media’s notion of ‘beauty’ and ‘perfection’ constricts rather than liberates females.
This is technically masterful, intellectual work that forms an important reminder that feminism still has a long way to go before achieving true equality.