It’s all about keeping score

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Naomie Hatherley has never been a footy fan but the game has always been lurking in the background. “My first solo exhibition in 2007 was on the religion of football, as an outsider, I was trying to make sense of the all-consuming passion,” she said.

Also waiting for attention was a pile of footy scoreboard number plates she had picked up at the tip in Balingup and put away.

Then Naomie’s daughter started playing footy in Broome – she broke an arm in the first game her mother saw but that didn’t stop either of them.

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My interest lies in the community of the women’s game and what it represents to so many. I love how the women’s game has become this powerful metaphor of what is possible – women fighting passionately for some space, stepping out to be counted. 

I have held onto the score plates for 10-15 years, waiting for the right project to use them. When I watched my daughter play and witnessed the fiercely supportive community she became a part of, I knew I had found the perfect source material. In watching these amazing women of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds and cultures come together to battle it out on the field I felt so inspired I wanted to honour them in what felt like a significant moment in our local community history.

From an art perspective, I have been examining the female form as an active muse. In counterpoint to the long tradition of the typical female form as soft, passive, object of desire, I am enjoying exploring the physicality of the form in action – fighting for the ball – and depicting women’s bodies in ways that historically has been forbidden as dangerous, unfeminine, unsexy, confronting, powerful and empowered.

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Naomie Hatherley’s exhibition Keeping Score is on from Wednesday 7 July to Saturday 24 July at Cool Change Gallery in the Bon Marche Arcade 74-84 Barrack Street, Perth.

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