WINNER - Australian Design Centre Award

Jane Theau works with all sorts of media - bronze, found objects, video, and shadow – but returns again and again to thread. She believes textiles are intimate, they touch our skin from birth to death and thus have a particular power to evoke tactile memories. This familiarity easily opens up conversations with people, a gift for artists.

#MeToo is inspired by the beautiful Renaissance painting of Judith and Holofernes by Cristofano Allori, and it repositions this Old Testament narrative in our time. Artemesia Gentileschi created another famous painting of this story which holds particular significance, as she was a seventeenth century rape victim who took her attacker to court. The story of Judith overcoming the aggression of her male nemesis was commonly used during the Renaissance and Baroque periods to demonstrate the power of women.

Jane hopes that milestones like the #MeToo movement, and Julia Gillard’s Misogyny Speech, demonstrate that to combat misogyny and sexual aggression, the pen can be a mightier weapon than the sword Judith had to wield.

Image: Jane Theau, #Me Too, 2017, COTA
Materials: Tarlatan, thread