Collected, Saved and Combined brings together pieces from Ararat Gallery TAMA’s Permanent Collection that utilise repurposed everyday items to explore contemporary Australian life. Spanning the 1980s through to today, this includes artworks by Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Sarah Crowest, Lois Densham, Richard Goodwin, Paull McKee, Raquel Ormella and John Parkes.
The act of collecting, saving and combining household materials to create new forms, both aesthetic and functional, is often referred to as femmage; a term coined by Miriam Shapiro and Melissa Meyer in 1977. Women have transmitted covert messages in this fashion for hundreds of years. Likewise, the artworks in this exhibition contain critical information the artists wish to share. They use everything from bed springs and clothing to children’s toys, to communicate themes of physical, cultural, emotional and environmental survival.