A Girl Like You
A Girl Like You is an exhibition of newly commissioned and recent works by Western Sydney artist, Linda Brescia. Linda’s expansive practice is informed by personal experience, as well as the lives of the women that she surrounds herself with, including her local community, as well as artists and authors, both contemporaries and throughout history. In doing so, Brescia creates a space for under or misrepresented women to speak for themselves.
The exhibition has its origins in a process of community engagement whereby Brescia was embedded in the suburb of Kingswood, working closely with local women to understand and facilitate a dialogue around visibility and safety. This project, titled Skirts, resulted in the series of life-sized portraits of participants on fabric. In collaboration with Brescia and author Felicity Castagna, the Skirts cohort have devised a manifesto – a declaration that combines poetic observations by the women, as well as a list of actions or demands. Here, the manifesto takes the form of a large-scale mural adoring the gallery wall.
Brescia also presents portraits of contemporary figures Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins. For Brescia, these dual figures represent the varied experiences of women in the public sphere, as both fierce advocates for safety and representation, as well as figures for whom anonymity is not an option.
The exhibition title was gleaned from a studio visit with the artist, where a note had been made for these central works, ‘a girl like Grace’ and ‘a girl like Brittany’. If these two figures are emblematic of the strength and resilience of women in Australia today, the title perhaps speaks to the inherent solidarity that exists between all of us who embrace a spirit of the feminine.
Skirts was produced and presented by C3West on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in partnership with Penrith City Council.
ABOUT LINDA BRESCIA
Linda Brescia is a Western Sydney-based artist who investigates the banalities and complexities of everyday life experiences and rituals through painting, photography, sculpture and performance. Her practice explores dynamics around visibility and invisibility, masking, care and self-assertion.
The solo exhibition Linda Brescia: Holding up the Sky was presented at Fairfield City Museum & Gallery (2018–2019), and Brescia’s work has been presented in exhibitions and programs for Artspace, Sydney; Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre; Cementa; King Street Gallery Sydney; MOP, Sydney and Parramatta Artists’ Studios where she is an artist in residence 2021-2023 at their Rydalmere studios. Her work has been collected by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Artcell Collection Management, Blacktown City Council and private collectors.
In 2020 Brescia was awarded the Blacktown City Art Prize for her portrait of American patron of the arts Peggy Guggenheim. Brescia has a long history of facilitating workshops and community projects for numerous organisations and groups.