Anita DeSoto

Anita DeSoto Art work

Potion, 2024

“This is the story depicted in Anita DeSoto’s Her Fire for Life, after Jordaens. It is a story of greed and power, not of love. It is a story of freedom and security stolen. It is a story of women who know their own minds and refuse to acquiesce, and of women’s connection with nature. It is a story of control over women’s bodies, treating them as useful objects. Sound familiar, even today?..” from an essay by Carolijn Guytonbeck

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Our Frocks like Mountains

The exhibition’s title ‘Our Frocks Like Mountains’ assertively signals this is not for the faint hearted. Working with historic photographs sourced from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Gore Historical Museum and Riverton/Aparima Heritage Society, her selection presents a broad representation of women of different ages, social status and race. At first glance the paintings suggest a tableaux of benign domestication however their re-rendering portrays an alternative; a restlessness akin to the tectonic forces which shape the snow-flanked mountain ranges dominating the skyline in Riverton where DeSoto worked.

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