Miranda Parkes


etc (exploded book: French Painting)

  • 2020
  • Gold and silver foil, collage elements, acrylic, varnish on photogravure book plate
  • Purchased 2021
  • 370 x 300mm
  • 2021/069

For her series of ‘exploded books’, Ōtautahi artist Miranda Parkes used old books about painting as palimpsests for wild and colourful collages. This literal ‘painting over’ of Western art texts and images challenges and rewrites the contents, revealing the subjective nature of art history and suggesting it is more unruly and diverse than we think. Elisa Bonaparte peeks out from vibrant pink, yellow and golden layers; an eye stares back at us from the centre of a swirling silver record adorned with chocolate covered fruit and a pair of lips; and an arm reaches into what was once a Manet but is now a psychedelic party of paint. This playful, almost surreal, treatment of the book as canvas is a joyful critique of the patriarchal, heteronormative, monocultural art histories that are written and taught in academia. Instead, Miranda imagines and celebrates the other artists and artworks that we might consider important today.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History