AGWA exhibition Speech Patterns features artists Nadia Hernandez and Jon Campbell

Pairing artists Nadia Hernandez and Jon Campbell in the new Speech Patterns exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia felt like matchmaking for AGWA curator Robert Cook.

“You know, if you go on a date with someone and they’re too much alike, it probably gets very, very boring, but if there’s enough similarities and enough differences, then it gets really exciting,” says Cook.

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“I felt that this pairing was somehow connected, but there was also a kind of tension between them.”

In their artistic practice of using language and text in their works, both contemporary artists based on the east coast of Australia focus on their experiences of relocation – Hernandez was born in Venezuela, while Campbell moved from Belfast to Melbourne as a young child – and issues of identity, class, cultural and national value systems.

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The result is a fresh and powerful exhibition, full of emotion and poetry, with inspirational paintings, paste-ups, drawings, posters, banners and flags from across her career.

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