Here I Am: Art By Great Women is a new exhibition currently showing in Canberra as part of a new summer-long cultural arts festival celebrating women. Together the works, which span multiple artistic disciplines, present as a dynamic collection of diverse work from over 30 incredible women – all contemporary, emerging and established Australian artists.

One artist who is exhibiting work as part of Here I Am: Art By Great Women, is Jess Cochrane whose practice interrogates the relationship between society, consumerism and pop culture. Her focus is on feminine beauty, illustrated through the application of paint over photographic images.

“I started stencilling when I was 16, my brother taught me the basics, out of every state in Australia we really embraced stencils, the culture was really booming here.

“I’m 30 something now and I have just kept doing it over the years. I have incorporated different things like free hand elements and large-scale mural works, but like any artist I have just tried to get better,” Cochrane tells Star Observer.

“I was definitely intrigued by it when I was growing up, driving into the city and seeing these stencils and things.”

On how the art scene has changed since she first began creating work Cochrane explains that “when I first started out it was a lot more male dominated, whereas now I run workshops every year and I’ve actually taught a lot of female artists how to do stencils who have their own practices now. It’s great to see that influence and see that it is creating a difference and that there are more women doing it now.”

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 Here I Am: Art By Great Women, is itself inspired by the Know My Name movement and is presented in partnership with the prestigious National Gallery of Australia, at one of Cochrane’s favourite spaces, aMBUSH Gallery Kambri.

“They always run really great projects, they have always been really supportive and and they really do try to make it as equal and inclusive as it can be. It is one of my favourite galleries to work with, just because of the kinds of exhibitions and jobs they do get to curate.

Here I Am: Art By Great Women, is a great message, and I’m just stoked to be involved, I think it’s been a great year for the themes they are working on.”

Having opened in November, the exhibition will run until late February 2021, for more info head to: www.kambri.com.au

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