Video: Simon Hewson for Gallery 9 and Grace Wright, ‘Making It All Seem Real’, 2021.
“I'm a practicing artist, creating large scale abstract paintings. Previously I worked three days a week alongside being an artist, however recently I’ve been fortunate enough to do painting full time. I also have my own studio space, separate from my home, where I create these works.
“I am represented by Gow Langsford Gallery in New Zealand, Gallery 9 in Sydney and Yavuz Gallery in Singapore. Briefly, my work is most closely connected to the lineage of abstract expressionism, however it also draws upon western art history, particularly that of the baroque and renaissance periods. I’m fascinated by how this work was often made by men and by bringing in sensuous, ‘feminine’ gestures I hope to elevate these ideas into a more monumental standing.
“In the coming years I hope to continue growing the international audience for my work. I would love to do some residencies overseas and focus on continuing to evolve my work. The most important thing for me is continuing to read, see things, process them through painting and simply spending time in the studio with the works. That’s at the heart of it.
The conversations in our morning group sessions were long and winding, and I got so much out of these.
Returning to study at Elam
“I always knew I wanted to do an MFA and after working as an artist for three years, I reached a stage where I was ready for more critical feedback. Spending those years exhibiting and practicing meant I returned to study with renewed purpose. I considered going overseas however the development and critique was most important and I knew I would get that at Elam. Studying part-time allowed me to continue exhibiting and working, within the university setting.
"I loved the group of people I did my MFA with. We had these fantastic mornings with our supervisors, where we discussed different topics in art such as feminism, the Anthropocene and more. The conversations were long and winding, and I got so much out of these. I really enjoyed the challenge of the MFA, too. The chance to experiment and push my practice. Overall, the absolute highlight was writing my thesis. It was really challenging, putting together all the research and formulating my argument. But I felt passionate about the topic and I was so proud of the end result.
Grace's advice for future MFA students
“I think being intentional with the study helps you to get the most out of it. It might be having an area you want to research, or feeling like you need critical feedback. It’s also a great way to better establish yourself as a practicing artist too, or just to push your work further. It’s amazing how you end up creating things you never could have imagined. Lastly I would also say really try to enjoy it and make the most of it, because it goes fast and you never get that time back again.”