Melbourne

Francis Upritchard

Gertrude Contemporary

This has proven to be a milestone year for New Zealand–born, London-based sculptor Francis Upritchard. Her selection as one of New Zealand’s representatives for its 2009 Venice Biennale pavilion followed residencies at two of Australasia’s most significant art venues, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth, New Zealand, and Sydney’s Artspace, during which Upritchard’s practice underwent a subtle change of direction. Famed for her postcolonial confrontations with her homeland’s cultural heritage––in one series from 2002, Upritchard molded sculptures based on the shrunken heads of British colonizers captured by native New Zealanders––the artist this year has shifted into more folkloric, less agitated territory with her installations rainwob i and rainwob ii, both 2008, the second of which toured from Artspace to Melbourne.

For rainwob ii, Upritchard presented a shop display gone

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