16 October – 2 November 2013: Tania Virgona – The Breast


Gallery 3

This exhibition explores the form, purpose and significance of the female breast. The complex and challenging experiences of motherhood, femininity, and nurturing are expressed through a series of wood-carvings and drawings. A number of dualities are brought to light in Virgona’s works including; femininity and masculinity, softness and hardness, containment and release, inner and outer, sustenance and depletion. These oppositions form the theoretical framework of Virgona’s personal and emotional response to the breast.

Carved from hardwood, Virgona’s choice of material and her creative process are significant on a symbolic level. The tough and durable nature of the wood is a deliberate reference to the idea of a protective breast-plate, typically worn by men in the form of armour. This offers a counterpoint to the usual idea of the soft motherly breast.

Virgona aligns the carving of these works with the formative influence of a parent on a child, and the reciprocal relationship of influence between humans and the natural environment.

Tania Virgona holds a Masters in Art Therapy, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Public Art from RMIT and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the VCA. Having exhibited widely in Victoria over the last fifteen years, Virgona has also undertaken four artist residencies and has been involved many public art projects and commissions.