Flying Out (Firecracker)


Hannah Gartside
Guruwuy Murrinyina
Georgia Spain
Justine Varga
Elizabeth Willing

“… five distinct voices, but they share a quality found in the most special art, where the works exist in excess of themselves, overflowing with feelings, ideas, stories and desires. Yet the right to this aesthetic intensity for women was never a historical given. As art critic Jennifer Higgie makes clear in The Mirror and the Palette, for hundreds of years women artists fought for the space and time to fulfill their curiosities and drives—it’s a lineage that leads to exhibitions like Flying out (firecracker).”

Tiarney Miekus 2024

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End of Violet

The title of my exhibition, End of Violet, is taken from a diary that Mary Somerville penned in 1845, detailing her experiments on the colour spectrum and vegetable juices. These words are not to be found in the body of the text, but instead are inscribed within the table of contents, a voice from the margin that sets a tone for what is to come. Violet is at the end of the colour spectrum, and therefore at the very edge of vision. In other words, Somerville’s experiments with colour photography strove to push the limits of what can be perceptually known. 

Justine Varga, March 2023

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Tachisme is Justine Varga’s first exhibition at Tolarno Galleries. The winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize (2019) and Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture (2017), Varga’s new works rupture any clear distinction between photography and painting.

The negatives from which these photographs derive were smeared and stained with pigment during their long exposures. Justine Varga has always seen her photography as a drawing with light, or more literally as a light-sensitive substrate on which she makes marks or allows the world to leave its own marks.

These photographs make visible an art practice that is at once physical and chemical, autobiographical and contingent, painterly and photographic. Tachisme is a critical rumination on inscription, meaning and knowledge.

An exhibition of PHOTO 2021
International Festival of Photography
18 February – 7 March 2021

Image: Justine Varga Vicissitude 2018-19, chromogenic photograph, 151.5 x 121 cm (framed size), edition of 5 + 2 AP


Tachisme (online)

Premiering Justine Varga’s new body of work. An abridged edit of the full suite of Tachisme works presented at Tolarno Galleries in February 2021 as an official exhibition of the PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography.

Pictured: Justine Varga with her winning 2019 Dobell Drawing Prize work Photogenic Drawing (2018), chromogenic photograph 151.5 x 120 cm, 154.5 x 124 cm (framed). Photo by Peter Morgan, courtesy National Art School

Click to read the catalogue essay by Andrés Mario Zervigón.