Connor Ovenden
Friday, 29 September 2017 to Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Ren Gregoric

I remember when, one day in early high school, the students in my class were asked to talk about a celebrity we admire. My peers presented pop stars and sportsmen. I stood there, in front of the class with a poorly made poster on Fanny Cradock, a 1970’s British celebrity chef. She was unapologetically sharp, witty and a real snark. I wanted to be her, to be able to embody her strong sense of self.

Coming from sometimes volatile experiences, my mother and grandmother became my role models from a very young age; I admire their resilience and have always valued their ability to not let tough situations define them. This enduring resilience is an ongoing source of inspiration and I often find that my artistic practice is a reflection of their narratives.

As I begin to explore my own gender identity through my art, I have also found a sense of comfort and certainty in the rituals that the women around me perform and the ways they express their gender. This line of inquiry has led me to question whether gender is purely biological, a series of social conventions or a mixture of both.Lineage is a collection of thoughts focusing on my relationship with the women in my life; how their femininity is influenced by society and the ways social definitions of gender influence me.

The exhibition is also an exploration of where this deep sense of connection I feel towards ‘the feminine’ comes from and where it might be taking me.

+ Free entry

+ Audio loop available and wheelchair accessible

+ Suitable for all ages

Connor Ovenden

Connor Ovenden is an emerging artist based in Warrnambool. Connor holds a number of visual arts qualifications, including a Diploma of Visual Arts and is currently completing his Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts at South West TAFE.  Connor has exhibited in a number of group shows, including at Prismatic (2016), Chimera (2016) and Ground Floor (2016). In 2016, Connor was awarded the Peter Lucas Memorial Art Prize.

Image credit: Connor Ovenden, Frida Khalo, Model: Nives Kootri, 2016

Peter Lucas Memorial Art Prize

The Peter Lucas Memorial Art Prize is an annual award sponsored by the Warrnambool Art Gallery. The award provides a student of the South West TAFE Diploma of Arts, Craft and Design with mentoring and exhibition space.Now in its eighteenth year, the prize aims celebrate the life of Peter Lucas, a great teacher, artist and friend whose influence and inspiration lives on in the works and lives of many individuals within the Warrnambool art community. With the spirit of Peter in mind, this prize encourages emerging artist to follow their ambitions by providing them with a platform to launch a career in the arts.