Installation view of Anna Finlayson’s <em>Working Drawing</em> series 2017-2019 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne.<br/>
Image: Sean Fennessy<br/>

Anna Finlayson

Anna Finlayson
(b. 1968, Melbourne. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Anna Finlayson works across sculpture, installation, painting and drawing. In her expanded drawing practice, she continually investigates the artistic tradition of the grid – layering data and information in a meticulous visual language that often leaves behind evidence of the artistic process.

For Melbourne Now, Finlayson presents five works from her Working Drawing series, created between 2017 and 2019. Each of the works feature fine underlaid pencil-ruled grids on black paper, over which the artist has worked in colour pencil and gouache details. These grids expand and morph throughout the series, with interlocking forms and structures overlapping in a playful exploration of form. In Still life with artist’s palette (after Anne Vallayer-Coster), 2018–19, an ordered spectrum of gouache daubs is annotated with the names of colours and details of each colour’s properties, exemplifying the artist’s tendency to uplift process as a central part of the finished work. In what the artist calls ‘an observational approach to image making’, each drawing on display is inscribed with multiple dates (recalling the days on which the artist worked on the drawing) and annotations providing clues around intertextual links and historical precedents to the works, from Josef Albers’s Structural Constellation series to Bridget Riley’s optical illusions.

Finlayson holds qualifications in Textile Design from RMIT University and Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne.. She completed postgraduate studies at both RMIT and VCA in the early 2000s and is currently a PhD candidate at the VCA. She has exhibited extensively in Australia since the late 1990s, with her work appearing at numerous exhibitions, including at Melbourne’s Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Victoria.