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Reflections

Pink infanta, 2005
stainless steel mesh, enamel paint
67 x 50 x 50 cm
Gift of the artist 2005 [left]


Margarita, 2005
stainless steel mesh, enamel paint
82 x 77 x 54 cm
Purchased 2005 with funds donated
by Meredith Hinchliffe [right]

Anna EGGERT

born 1952

Anna Eggert graduated from the ANU School of Art, in 1991 and has exhibited frequently in solo and group exhibitions in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Recent solo exhibitions include Pure mathematics: ready to hand (Beaver Galleries, Canberra 2008); Mesmerized (CMAG 2007); and Pure fabrication (Noosa Regional Gallery, Queensland 2007).


Major group exhibitions include the Wynne Prize (Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2001); the Alice Prize (2001, 2002); Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney (2002); the McClelland Sculpture Award, Langwarrin, Victoria (2003, 2004); National Sculpture Prize, National Gallery of Australia (2003) and the Helen Lempriere Sculpture Prize, Werribee Park, ictoria (2007). Eggert has received many grants and prizes and in 2008 was awarded the ACT Creative Arts Fellowship.


Pink infanta and Margarita are from a series whose source lies in Diego Velazquez’s (1599-1660) late portraits of the Spanish Royal Family. They portray the Infanta Margarita Teresa at different stages in her life: Pink infanta is taken from Infanta Margarita Teresa in a pink gown (1653/54) in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and Margarita from the famous Las meninas (1656) in the Prado, Madrid.


Velazquez’s pictures are laden with political and social significance. In both these works Velazquez has captured the melancholy grace of the sumptuously dressed royal princess with incredible lightness of touch. Velazquez’s combination of the immediacy of the person(s) depicted with the enigmatic richness of his concept is what has drawn Eggert to these works.


For Eggert the child’s costume is symbolic of her position in the world. Encased in a luxurious prison modelled on adult clothing, the dress becomes the child (hence the absence of a body beneath the dress). Eggert’s intriguingly alluring dresses are deliciously lush. The need to move around them and to move in for close examination is embedded in her choice of materials and in the fashioning of that material to form the final product. An almost intangible softness is coupled with harsh edges, metaphors for the ways in which the social conventions of dress shape the person within.

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