Lauren McCartney is a multidisciplinary artist, who identifies as an intersectional
feminist. In her artwork she primarily uses performative painting to parody histories
of objectification and conventions of appropriate feminine behaviour. She creates
situations where her body is humorously exaggerated to the degree that she
becomes a spectacle, an object of laughter, whilst simultaneously disrupting
patriarchal ideas and myths about femininity and misbehavior. McCartney’s practice
offers the concept that through failing with her materials and her body, she succeeds
in creating her work. Ironically, this can be perceived as a feminine means of thinking
– what may be seen as physical weakness, where the failure of painting and
performance is inevitable, is in fact, where the success of her work lies.
McCartney lives in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. She holds a Bachelor
of Creative Arts (Honours Class I) from the University of Wollongong and has
recently submitted her PhD through Curtin University. Her practice-based doctorate
explores how women have engaged with humorous and playful approaches to
performative anti-painting. It reveals artworks that are created by and for women,
where both painterly materials and the female body misbehave. In the process it
establishes forms of feminist performative painting that not only provoke patriarchal
hierarchies in painting, but also reveal a corporeal feminism that defies them.
McCartney’s work has been collected by the Art Gallery of Western Australia and
she has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia. She has also
presented her research and practice at conferences in Australia and internationally.
McCartney also teaches painting, sculpture and art theory through Open Universities
Australia, Curtin University, where her teaching philosophy is to engage her students
in understandings of art that do not primarily draw from the dominant, white,
masculine canon. She bases her teaching on exposing her students to alternative
histories and practices in art, established by women and minorities and actively
encourages them to explore their own identities and challenge established norms in
their research and artmaking.