A menagerie is a collection of captive animals, frequently exotic, kept for display; or the place where such a collection is kept, a precursor to the modern zoological garden. In her new solo exhibition “Menagerie” Mitchell presents her own collection of both birds and women – exotic parrots and colourful budgies hover and perch on the shoulders of creative women. These are trailblazers – the remarkable and often unsung heroes, women history-makers – many of whom were viewed as exotic, different or a bit odd in their time. By representing them within a framework of popular culture imagery, Mitchell questions the pressure on women to be seen as desirable and beautiful regardless of what they do and their achievements.
Her casting call of feminist characters includes American writer Gertrude Stein, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, American environmentalist Rachel Carson, American photographer Dianne Arbus and closer to home artists Alexis Hunter, Sylvia Siddell and Rosalie Gascoigne. This exhibition continues on from her series begun in 2018 during the NZ Sufferage celebrations to mark 125 years.
Also included in the exhibition is a collection of new watercolours on found book pages - part of Mitchell's ongoing practise and at only $400 each (unframed), an affordable way for new collectors to purchase an original artwork. Please note that these works will not be available to view on our website but are featured on both our Instagram and Facebook accounts over lockdown. Please email us with enquiries or to purchase.