Sally Smart: The Choreography of Cutting

6 October – 4 November 2017

Sally Smart, Staging the Studio install documentation, 2017, documentation by Christo Crocker
Sally Smart, Staging the Studio install documentation, 2017, documentation by Christo Crocker.

Sally Smart conceives of the studio space as analogous to a rehearsal space—a site where she can choreograph the myriad ideas and elements that form her work, and test their formal and material concerns. At a given moment the constituents might include performers, puppets, pirate ships or philosophers, with associative images and texts connecting or unravelling in various states of construction and reconstruction. Movement and process are described and documented in image and  lm, by drawing and mapping, but especially through cutting—a transitional and transformative process she employs to yield change. And, as Smart has noted: as a feminist artist, this is political.

The Margaret Lawrence Gallery is excited to present Staging the Studio by Vice Chancellor Fellow Sally Smart. Whilst Sally’s investigations of the body, cultural heritage and pedagogy have been shown in Australian and international museum contexts, they have a special resonance here, within an art school. We are indebted to Professor Glyn Davies, Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, the External Relations team and the Directorate of the Victorian College of the Arts for their assistance in bringing this project to fruition. We thank Vikki McInnes for her thoughtful commentary and warmly congratulate Sally on this ambitious and imaginative drawing together of themes that are at once personal and shared, localised and global.

Featured artists

Sally Smart

VCA alumna Sally Smart is known for her large-scale cut-out assemblage installations. Her practice engages identity, politics and the relationships between the body, thought and culture. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, Smart is currently a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne. In this new major installation, Smart explores the themes and ideas associated with the studio as a place of work, contemplation and thought in action.


Dr David Sequeira

Exhibition catalogue

Download the catalogue [PDF, 250kb]

Read Sally's interview with Paul Dalgarno here

Featured artworks

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