A NAKED life-sized Freud slumped in a chair, tiny sculptures and huge tapestries are just some of the artworks at PICA’s An Internal Difficulty, Australian Artists at the Freud Museum.
Back home, WA artists Thea Costantino, Pilar Mata Dupont, Susan Flavell, Tarryn Gill, Travis Kelleher and Andrew Nicholls took two years to create their works for the exhibition.
In London they’d enjoyed unfettered access to the museum, housed in the townhouse Freud and his family lived in after fleeing the Nazi occupation of Austria. They were able to trawl at leisure through his extensive collection of art, antiquities, textiles, prints and furniture and library, and read his letters.
Artist and curator Andrew Nicholls was behind the project, pulling together artists he knew or admired for the three-week residency.
“It was one of the best experience of my professional career,” he tells the Voice.
Sharing a room with museum staff the artist’s enthusiasm spilled over into laughter.
“A lot of what we were discussing about [Freud] you would never expect…his strange idiosyncrasies. We thought the staff would throw us out, but they said they loved having us there.”
The exhibition will transform the PICA gallery into a maze: “People go through a journey into the unconscious and will encounter works along the way…I can guarantee no-one will be bored,” Nicholls says.
He’s hoping crowd funding through Pozible will raise the cash to produce a high quality catalogue to accompany the art when it goes on tour later in the year. An Internal Difficulty is on at PICA, James Street, Northbridge until April 15.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK