(terra) australis incognita is a catalogue for a recent exhibition with the same title by Eva Fernández shown at the Fremantle Art Centre in 2011. The catalogue includes essays by Andrew Nicholls, artist, writer and curator based in Perth as well as Bec Dean, curator, writer and Associate Director of Performance Space, Sydney.
Emphasising the symbolic power inherent in objects, (terra) australis incognita was a series of large format photographs that question the often difficult political terrain of colonisation and reconciliation which extends into every fibre of Australian culture. Showing furniture in various stages of destruction, along with a range of native flora extruding out of them, this political history here resides in both the old and the regenerative. In (terra) australis incognita Fernández has produced paradoxically pristine tableaus that contrast order and chaos. Fernandez’ crisp style of photography shows beautiful antique velvet couches and well-worn armchairs with their insides strewn across the frame. Set against stark white backgrounds, (terra) australis incognita shows items travelling further towards total destruction with the chaos and disarray of the subject matter becoming more and more intensified. Fernandez is a highly skilled and accomplished photographer, seductive and witty her (terra) australis incognita series highlights the precision and beauty of her craft.
Eva Fernández completed a Master of Arts (Creative Arts) in 2002 at Edith Cowan University and has lectured at Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and TAFE for the past 13 years.
She is currently working in photography and digital based media and has been a practicing artist for over 20 years. Eva’s practice includes examination of areas which contextualise her existence in the place/space she inhabits including exploration of her physical environment as well as culture and gender identity. Her recent body of work, Memento Mori is concerned with still life images and their history and context in relationship to mortality, referencing memento mori and vanitas.
Eva’s current area of research is examining the deconstruction and reconstruction of symbolically laden objects in order to subtly critiquing the time which they were created. These investigations create a tension between order and disorder and provide a powerful means to investigate issues of colonialism in Australian culture. This work was exhibited at a solo exhibition at Fremantle Art Centre in May 2011.
She is also currently embarking on extensive research & development toward the production of a publication of narratives and newly created photographic artworks focusing on recipes from her family history during the Spanish Civil War.
Eva has had 4 solo shows and been invited to exhibit in several group exhibitions nationally, including Girls on Film and Mixed Tape both at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Transient States at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and National Gallery of Victoria in 2012. Eva is also an exciting emerging curator, recently curating me-take: Indigenous self-representation in Photomedia.