Truth Bomb: Inspiration from the Mouths and Minds of Women Artists

Truth Bomb: Inspiration from the Mouths and Minds of Women Artists
Abigail Crompton
Thames & Hudson

In a year where community and the multifarious and important role of women in the world is in our mind’s eye, 22 Australian and international artists who have caught the attention (and held it) of Abigail Crompton are celebrated in ‘Truth Bomb’ through personal vignettes.

As the name and sparkling cover suggest, the practices canvassed here confront the status quo with flair. Divided into thematic chapters on artful resistance and feminism, innovation, soul and humour as well as art that is left of centre or transports us with its otherworldliness, Crompton champions a diverse catalogue of big names and talent at the crest from the Guerrilla Girls and Yayoi Kusama to Kushana Bush.

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Of the Aussie cohort – Minna Gilligan, Beci Orpin, Kaylene Whiskey, Anastasia Klose, Frances Cannon, Del Kathryn Barton and Patricia Piccinini – Crompton seems to be beguiled by practices with a strong graphic and/or primal foundation. It’s not only the output of her ‘art crushes’ that’s of interest but their habits, obsessions, philosophies and to find solace in shared experiences. As such, it is a delight to read and observe with full-page reproductions of works and unique digressions in each ‘summary’ of the artist; a point for inspiration, education and record.

While it’s a festive title, there are moments of seriousness and contemplation. Klose comments ‘the solid ego keeps the men going while women fade out. It’s hard not to state the obvious, but women not getting what they are due is something I see over and over again.’ Indeed, hand in hand without there aesthetics come universal truths; such as the ‘truth bombs’ from artists Barton who notes ‘Fuck resilience! I want leadership and even supremacy for my sisters! It is our time!’ and Piccinini as she adds ‘You don’t enter the art world – you have to build it out of the people around you.’