THE WATTLE ROOM - CHAPTER 10 - Inherited Way of Being:


18/03/2023 - 12/04/2023

The body of work for Genevieve Carroll’s new exhibition represents the 10th Chapter in the artist’s evolving memoir, The Wattle Room. The concept, which developed during her residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, in 2007, explores the contradictions we wrestle with when experiencing nostalgia. While Chapter One focused on the artist’s liminal mind-space in Paris – betwixt and between Australia and her studio in France – Carroll’s recent work contemplates the experience of longing and nostalgia for a world prior to the expansion of smartphones and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Continuing The Wattle Room’s introspective focus, Inherited way of being is deeply autobiographical and responsive to the nuances of contemporary life. Through symbolism and metaphor, Carroll’s work asks moral questions about the new world of AI, while the energy of her markings and expressive use of colour evoke humour and joy. Her work’s emotional tone correlates with an inner sense of resilience and optimism, which is closely aligned to her outlook:  

It’s not about giving in; alternatively, it may be about accepting the way the world is going…Living with the instability and uncertainty and changes coming into our lives. Because in reality – how do we resolve so many things that are feeling overwhelming and becoming out of our control?

The artist’s rich visual code builds compositions that conjure the familiar feel of a storybook – a consoling narrative when the future is unknown – although inherent to each image is a range of possible meanings invoking paradox and ambiguity. Carroll makes a connection between the pictorial language employed here to the historical symbolism explored by Dutch artists of the 17th Century: 

Looking at the symbols of the Netherlands Vanitas paintings – I combined these with the world we live in today. The hourglass on the table represented preciousness of time… Today, the iPhone relates to the time that we waste – but also to the importance and immediacy of having such a devise.

Carroll’s abstract forms are balanced on tables and monuments, on structures that symbolise stability. Yet they appear “like scaffolding that could collapse”, she suggests. These teetering jugs and cups could also be metaphors for glimpses of memory emerging from consciousness – “It could be the side of an object – or it could be the side of a memory”, she reflects. 

This perspective opens a window to alternate ways of thinking, seeing and encapsulating memory. Her work is experiential, traversing internal and external landscapes, tapping into our memory and imagination. Yet Carroll’s ideas and multi-disciplinary practice (spanning painting, drawing, installation and moving image) are grounded in her experience of the landscape in the remote country at Hill End:

I love nature. I love gardening. But there is always this sense of overwhelm and trying to keep on top of it.  The blackberries and mushrooms are ambitious – we are always trying to force them back…I see mushrooms as satellite posts signalling a larger environment of mycelium spread underground…I’ve likened this growth to the new world of Artificial Intelligence.

Genevieve Carroll graduated from the National Art School with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004. She was the recipient of the Tim Storrier and Annette Onslow Cite International des Arts Paris Residency in 2007. Her work has been exhibited in major prizes, including the Portia Geach Memorial Award. She was awarded the Central West Regional Artists Award in 2014, the Cowra Regional Art Gallery Award in 2012, and the Bathurst  Regional Art Gallery Portraiture Prize in 2010. Her work is held by public institutions, including the National Library (Canberra) and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.   


Genevieve Carroll 'Colleagues Frankenstein and Persephone are set up for their AI workshop' oil and acrylic on canvas 160 x 240cm $12,500
Genevieve Carroll 'The blackberries algorithm' oil and acrylic on canvas 160 x 240cm $12,500
Genevieve Carroll 'The data of longing' oil on linen 40.5cm x 30cm $1,600 SOLD
Genevieve Carroll 'The scream' oil and acrylic on canvas 84 x 91cm $4,250
Genevieve Carroll 'We just want to throw flowers at the world' oil on canvas 51 x 61cm $2,750
Genevieve Carroll 'The rat traps narrow intelligence' oil and acrylic on canvas 100 x 120cm $6,000
Genevieve Carroll 'Night shift' oil and acrylic on canvas 76 x 76cm $3,500
Genevieve Carroll 'Inherited way of being' oil and acrylic on canvas 160 x 240cm $12,500
Genevieve Carroll 'The data architect' 41 x 51cm oil on canvas $2,200 SOLD
Genevieve Carroll 'Under pink clouds' oil on canvas 53 x 62cm $2,750
Genevieve Carroll 'The Belly of the Dust' oil on canvas 101 x 101cm $5,500
Genevieve Carroll 'The Paddock of Colour' oil and acrylic on canvas 86cm x 138cm $6,000 SOLD
Genevieve Carroll 'Monument 4' oil on canvas 40 x 40cm $1,800
Genevieve Carroll 'Monument 3' oil on canvas 40 x 40cm $1,800