Who better to open an exhibition shining a spotlight on women artists than women artists?
The National Gallery of Australia's latest exhibition Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now will be launched on Friday with a virtual performance by Canberra experimental pop artists PRINCI and dancer Indigo Butler Moss.
The 30-minute performance, which was pre-recorded within the exhibition on Sunday, will be overlayed with subtle and emotive visual imagery by Sydney-based digital artist Carla Zimbler, speaking to the aesthetics and conceptual threads of the exhibition.
Know My Name brings together more than 300 works drawn from the gallery's collection and other collections from across Australia.
The exhibition is part of a series of ongoing initiatives by the National Gallery to increase the representation of artists who identify as women in its artistic program.
"To be a part of the Know My Name exhibition is such an honour and to be opening it in this way, especially with the circumstances of COVID feels special," PRINCI says.
"It feels like a whole new breath for Canberra. And I think celebrating women and identifying women artists for over 100 years is so special, and also to feel that the music you create could be an extension or reflection, and that it's built on that legacy, it just feels like a nice synergy.
"It is hard to work with a space that sometimes isn't full performance; it can feel strange. But I think on the day the team put together just different technical aspects and Carla's visuals looked good and created dynamics. So it's not just a dancer in the gallery."
Spanning over multiple rooms within the National Gallery, the more than 300 works are divided into themes.
It is within one of these rooms that the performance was pre-filmed for Friday's launch. The room's artworks also gave direct inspiration for the performance piece, particularly for Zimbler's visual imagery with the Sydney-based artist taking direct motifs from a sculpture from Mira Gojak called Transfer Station1.
"I embedded Mira Gojak's sculptural work in the camera feed and distorted it with feedback and echo effects and tried to feel a sense of what this exhibition is about through this performance," Zimbler says.
"With Mira's work, there is incredible shadow play and silhouettes that cast incredible light onto the ground beneath the work.
"That was such a focal point, and also the space around PRINCI's performance, the space around Indigo's movements, I wanted to try and capture that as a look in the visuals by manipulating shadow and manipulating delayed movement as a way to harness an energy in the space."
The virtual launch will also include previews of the exhibition with curators Deborah Hart, Elspeth Pitt and Kelli Cole and the world premiere of the dance film Archive the archive by Jo Lloyd.
The event will be live-streamed via Vimeo and as well as being available on Facebook Live on Friday from 6pm to 7.30pm.