Rebecca Beardmore is a Canadian-born Australian contemporary artist based in Sydney. She completed her MFA in the department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, a Centre for Excellence in Printmaking.
Through an innovative and experimental approach to materials and techniques, Rebecca seeks to expand the rhetoric around image perception and disrupt the image as an object of representation – evoking tensions between reading, seeing and perception.
An accomplished print artist, Rebecca is particularly invested in the material properties that print affords to the photographic image.
In the 2021 body of work, seeing, siting, sight, refined traditional hand printed photographic processes mingle with reprographic 4-colour separation printing, to emphasise the image encounter through its material surface. Crucially, the works present a convergence between the photographs proposed authenticity and experience of immediacy with the material subtlety and sensuality of more painterly impressions. Exploiting technologies of image production, old and new, Rebecca’s practice engages directly with the legacy of fine art printmaking to elicit contemplative viewing scenarios.
Rebecca is a lecturer at the University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts. She has published papers on the intersection of printmaking and photography in contemporary art and the expanding technologies in contemporary print practice. Rebecca is a previous winner and has been an invited judge in Australia’s most prestigious print prize, The Fremantle Print Award. She exhibits internationally and is represented by Artereal Gallery, Sydney.
“Central to my work is the act of looking itself, the prevailing activity inherent in all visual practice and inextricably linked to knowledge and our understanding of the world. Though we generally attribute a level of objectivity to our sense of vision, i.e. ‘seeing is believing’, we fail to recognize that our interpretation of the visible is informed by habits of perception, both indoctrinated and continually shifting. Rules that are determined by a codified language of interpretive signs- culturally constructed and technologically mediated.
My work combines image and text with the reflectivity of mirrored surfaces to set up an interface between different spaces of visual engagement and the ways in which these fluid interactions define and delimit our relationship to the world we inhabit.
In my work language functions on multiple levels – in the first instance, the densely printed small-scale type establishes a scenario that quite literally forces the viewer to move up to the work and engage actively across the surface and subsequently the space beyond the surface. Secondly, the words describe what cannot be seen, what is beyond perception in the often indistinct and fugitive photographic and/or reflected image, described in such inconsequential detail that its hyper-clarity offers no further resolution to the perceived understanding of the work except to propose a dialectic between seeing and reading– acknowledging, on the one hand, the interconnectedness of these two activities in relation to understanding while recognizing their obvious separation, for one cannot read and look at the same time.”
Artist Statement (2014)