When speaking about what it was like to be a part of a women-only exhibition, artist Amala Groom can't help but wonder why it has taken so long?
That said, despite the fact a women artist exhibition may be late to the party, the Wiradyuri artist says she stoked for her digital work The Union to be included in Here I Am: Art by Great Women at Kambri's aMBUSH Gallery.
The exhibition, which is just one part of a Here I Am festival and in a cultural partnership with the National Gallery of Australia, is inspired by the Know My Name movement that aims to highlight the lack of gender equality in art collections.
"It's 2020 and I think the exhibition really amazing and I'm totally supportive of it, but you still have to ask the question of why it has taken this long of these major institutions," Groom says.
"We've got a really long way to go for equality. And that conversation, it's a really important conversation and I'm really thrilled that my work has been included and curated into the Here I Am exhibition.
"It means that the work and, in turn, I get to be a part of that conversation and have that dialogue. I'm really passionate about being able to address equality especially when it comes to First Nations female representation across arts and cultural sector."
The Union is a performative work that sees Groom reimagine wedding rituals as an act of balancing act between one's physical and astral body, with the act of marriage a representation of seeing self as the primary relationship.
The video sees Groom adopt the persona of a displaced and distressed bride.
"I chose to wear the wedding dress because I was appropriating western traditions and conventions for the ultimate union between two people," the artist says.
"I use a lot of appropriation within my practice because it's a language the audience understands. I'm referencing thematics, objects, histories and popular culture to just get the point across.
"There's this whole world of Westernisms that I can just pull from. So I'm using that language to explain to people what this other story is and then they can understand a lot easier because I'm using language in which that they understand."
Running until February 29, Here I Am coincides with Know My Name by the National Gallery.
The accompanying festival will be comprised of free public events across the Kambri precinct - including free parking on weekends - with a program appealing to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. It aims to provide an invaluable platform for women artists and creatives to engage with the broader community.
"Over the past 13 years of aMBUSH we have worked with thousands of incredible women - this festival is a wonderful opportunity to bring more artists together alongside the great women the NGA will also be showcasing," aMBUSH Gallery cofounder Bill Dimas says.
"Our aim is to make the festival a bi-annual event that bolsters creative women and holds their work up to acclaim."
- For the full program of events go to kambri.com.au.