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Rachel Ratten: Kitsch – Days of our Lives


Wed 11 Apr 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 12 Apr 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 13 Apr 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 14 Apr 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 15 Apr 2012, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Ashburton Art Gallery and Heritage Centre, 327 West St, Ashburton, Ashburton District

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Traditionally, ‘good taste’ has been associated with knowledge of ‘high’ culture forms such as fine arts and classical music. Yet what counts as good taste is more complex than this notion of taste suggests. Why people own the things they do is of great interest to Ratten. The term kitsch normally refers to mass produced objects that offer cheap or gaudy versions of classical beauty.

This show embraces the aesthetics of kitsch and portrays certain items that have been absorbed into the public psyche (flying ducks, nodding dogs etc) as cheesy and quirky. These items have been juxtaposed into the realm of traditional ‘high’ culture by way of fine art painting techniques, medium and surface. The background ‘bone wallpaper’ is a tribute to the Victorian era from which the sentimental ‘kitch’ image evolved. A certain style of Victorian art was seen as sentimental, sympathetic and soft – feminine emotions not seen as desirable in ‘high’ art. The ‘mawkish and trite’ became the forerunner to 20th century kitsch objects. Ratten is a painter and printmaker whose work is influenced by her BA in Sociology and post graduate diploma in Visual and Material Culture. - Rachel Ratten

17 March—15 April