Words: Cam Hurst
Luisa Hansal makes art that is challenging, funny and strangely beautiful; her new exhibition Mundane Matters is all this and more. She shows women in conventionally undesirable situations of banal routine – sculling a can of Emu, taking a shit… In a world where it comes up as ‘News’ on my Facebook that Kylie Jenner had a photo-shoot in a white dress, Luisa’s work shows the hairy, sweaty, unsalvageable-by-Instagram-filter realities of modern womanhood. To get an insight into the world of Mundane Matters, we asked Luisa a few questions about her artistic process.
Was there a particular moment of inspiration for this series when it struck you that you wanted to focus on the mundanities of life, or did it just evolve naturally?
My practice usually focuses on highly personal experiences and emotions I have encountered in my life, dealing with themes of love, sex, the fragmented self/other, gender, anger, fear and anxiety. This subject matter can become mentally exhausting and highly emotional so I made a conscious effort to attempt a series of paintings that examine the mundane and perfectly simple occurrences within my day-to-day lifeworld instead. I think it definitely evolved from there though! On the surface these paintings are easily digestible and relatable but for me it’s much more about pointing out a hunger for escapism and freedom from the pressures of mundane Western culture.
Why did you choose to use marker pen and simple lines for the work?
Drawing/Illustration is the easiest and most natural way for me to broach an issue or idea that I have floating around in my head. I tend to use bold, bright colours and eye-catching imagery in my work to draw the viewer into the composition purely based on its aesthetic qualities. Once the viewers attention has been focused they then have the opportunity to engage with the conceptual elements of each piece.
The figures in the series are quite distorted and almost grotesque. Does this have conceptual significance or was it mainly a stylistic choice?
I guess I'm trying to portray a candid expression of female sexuality that takes a bold detour from the image of objectified women, promoted through mainstream media. I'm questioning the ever-present male vision of women. Instead, I'm offering an alternative view from a modern day female perspective.
Who are some of your favourite artists at the moment/artists whose work you loved whilst working on this series?
To name a few; Louise Bourgeois, Polly Nor, Del Kathryn Barton, Yoyoi Kusama, Ana Mendieta, Janine Antoni, Tracey Emin, Kristen Liu-Wong, Joy Hester, Fiona Roberts, Tracey Moffatt, Emma Kohlmann, Mark Whalen and Marion Fayolle.
Which piece from the exhibition do you have a special soft spot for?
'Hot chicks don't poo'
Do you actually like Emu Export?
Yeh mate, I like to keep it classy ;-)