Mural by Cynthia Schwertsik highlights women’s presence in the Murraylands
The artist has taken over Murray Bridge Regional Gallery's main room to place women and their names in the spotlight for a change.
You might have noticed that, as of late, Adelaide-based artist Cynthia Schwertsik has set up camp at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery.
Her exhibition My Name – which will open on Sunday, August 14 – aims to reflect the representation of women across public spaces, and how there is more in a name than we realise.
“Sometimes we have names that we consider difficult, or we feel we have to grow into them, or that they might not suit us at all,” Ms Schwertsik said.
“Also, most women change their last name when they get married, even still today … so all they have to themselves is their first name.”
Another important aspect of the exhibition for Ms Schwertsik was women’s representation in the community – or rather, the lack thereof.
“All the names of the main roads are from men, for example, Flinders or Sturt,” Ms Schwertsik said.
“I began to ask myself, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’.
“I then noticed that women’s names are on shopfronts.”
Ms Schwerstik drew inspiration from this, creating a photo wall for the exhibition that depicted businesses from around SA that were named after women.
“Women are portrayed by society to be inviting and comforting,” she said.
“I found lots of women’s names were used places that were supposed to provide that comfort, like bakeries or nail salons.
“You would never find a woman’s name on a doctor’s office or a law firm, because that would be degrading.
“When I was in Broken Hill for a project, some of the girls there said that if they could see themselves more in the town, like in street names, they may have felt safer.”
My Name is on display at Murray Bridge Regional Gallery until September 25, with its official opening being held on August 14 at 1pm.
More information: www.murraybridgegallery.com.au.