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20162016 Finalists

Andy Mullens

I am an emerging artist currently based in Canberra, Australia. I hold a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the Australian National University. I am currently the In Focus resident at PhotoAccess, with a solo show titled Mother Tongue to open on the 1st of December 2016. I was a finalist in the 2016 National Works on Paper Exhibition at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. Most recently I was the winner of the 2016 Yen Female Art Awards at Gaffa Gallery.

Artwork title


Artwork medium

currency from pre-war Vietnam, cotton thread

Artwork dimensions

6.8 x 5.7 cm approx. each

Artwork price


Artist Statement

Exchange uses currency from pre-war Vietnam that belonged to my mother when she came over to Australia in 1975. In red thread I overlay the pre-war Vietnamese flag: three horizontal red bands. The thread extends beyond the edges in uneven lengths. The punctuation of the sewing needle perforates the delicate surface almost to the point of decay. Contrasting materials and colours are striking almost to the point of aggression, but a closer inspection reveals the fragility of the work. This piece presents a tension reflective of my feelings as both an outsider and owner of Vietnamese history, and a mourning for a motherland that no longer exists in the way my mother knew it.

Inner North Story

My father grew up in O'Connor, and he still resides here to this day. I also live in O'Connor, a few streets down from him and my mother. My two siblings also live in O'Connor, a few streets away from each other. I have a deep connection to this area as I have been cycling the streets since I was a little girl, and I still do so today, enjoying the leafy green streets and waving hello to my neighbours.