Anna Louise Richardson | The Good

The Good is a major new solo exhibition by artist Anna Louise Richardson whose practice is centred around rural life, embedded in the experience and drama of everyday reality. Working primarily in charcoal and graphite, Richardson’s work explores ideas of intergenerational exchange, parenthood and identity based on her experiences of living and working on a multi-generation beef cattle farm in rural Australia.

The Good emerges from Richardson’s broader investigations into the complex relationships between humans and the natural world, tinged by grief and the competing demands of nurturing new life. In a world increasingly defined by division and hardship, Richardson’s work points to the necessary act of radical optimism needed to seek goodness in all things.

The Good has been curated by Rachel Arndt, The Condensery and Dr Lee-Anne Hall, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

 

Anna Louise Richardson on her family farm, Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodja in the Peel Region. Photo: Bo Wong

About the Artist

Anna Louise Richardson is an artist and freelance curator investigating rural Australian identity and associated mythologies. Richardson works primarily in charcoal and graphite on cement fibreboard, using a realistic approach, flattened perspective, cut-out shapes and manipulated scale to amplify the subject matter.

Her artistic practice reveals ideas of intergenerational exchange, parenthood and signifiers of identity based on her experiences of life in rural Australia living and working on a multi-generation beef cattle farm. The complexities of human relationships with the natural world and the intergenerational qualities of these relationships are driving themes throughout her practice. Richardson’s work depicts animals as a recurring motif to examine shared values on the role of animals in culture, commerce and ecology and how these are shaped through different narratives.

Richardson shares a studio on the farm with her husband Abdul-Rahman Abdullah – a Malay/Australian Muslim artist whose sculptural practice draws on the narrative capacity of animals to explore the intersection of politics, cultural identity and the natural world. Their three children are the seventh generation to grow up on the property. Richardson’s work is often autobiographical, revealing intergenerational connections with the land. Her parents manage the farm business, and her late mother was a veterinarian, artist and furniture designer maker who ran Megan Christie Designs from a converted shearing shed studio.

Richardson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Curtin University of Technology, Perth and has been a practicing artist since 2014.


About the Tour

The Good is the culmination of Western Australian artist Anna Louise Richardson’s explorations into her layered relationships with the natural world, coloured by love, loss and the complexities of nurturing new life as a young mother, while living on her family’s multi-generational farm on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodja (Country).

Working primarily in large scale drawing Richardson’s work depicts familiar and domestic objects that reverberate meaning and reflect moments of connection for her and her family – pillow stacks, daisy chains, beef carcasses, ingredients for cooking, the products of the farm and the objects necessary for survival in a rural context.

Just as Richardson considers ‘the good’, the concept of ‘good’ exists in all cultures. It is both a quality and recognition of a moral order, of what is right or true – its presence necessary to a functioning and harmonious society. The meaning of ‘good’ is amplified where it is absent from our world, and where the play of its opposite; that which is bad, injurious or false is present. Richardson finds not only the good where some would find the bad, her artwork strives towards beauty, light and wonder. In a world increasingly defined by division and hardship, Richardson’s work points to the necessary act of radical optimism needed to seek goodness in all things.

In recognising that The Good arises from the circumstance and particularity of Anna Louise Richardson’s family life upon a working farm, thoughts must turn to the acknowledgement of certain truths; that we live, make our private lives and share our loves on unceded Aboriginal land. For non-Aboriginal people this circumstance marks often unacknowledged privilege. Fences alone do not alienate land from people. Each corner of this country is known to Aboriginal people. It has been walked upon, its stories told and sung. It has and continues to be deeply loved and cared for.

The Good is both catalyst and opportunity for audiences across the country to explore what the ‘good’ means within the lives of individuals, families and communities.

-Rachel Arndt & Dr Lee-Anne Hall

Audio Description

This audio description for The Good, read by the artist Anna Louise Richardson, provides descriptive and creative insight into the themes of the show and the works on display. This recording was produced by Jim Filmer, Filmertography.

In-Situ Video

This video resource was filmed at The Condensery in Toogoolawah QLD.


Education & Engagement

Making Fly Swats & Flies:

A making activity aimed at early learners to accompany Anna Louise Richardson | The Good. Closed captions are available.

Activity Worksheet: Making Fly Swats and Flies

 


About Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

Situated in the heart of the city, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is an innovative public art gallery with facilities which include several large spaces for temporary exhibitions, located in the architect-designed Civic Centre, and incorporating a stand-alone gallery to exhibit the National Art Glass Collection.

The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery exhibits an exciting range of touring shows and locally developed exhibitions from the Gallery’s extensive collections, as well as the work of Riverina based artists. The Gallery is also the home of the Margaret Carnegie Print Collection and the National Art Glass Collection.

The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land, the Wiradjuri people, and pays respect to Elders past, present and future and extends respect to all First Nations Peoples in Wagga Wagga.

About The Condensery

The Condensery | Somerset Regional Art Gallery is located in Toogoolawah, Queensland, Australia. A unique cultural precinct, formerly home to the Nestlé condensed milk factory packing facility, it was officially opened to the public on 2 December 2015.

Located within the Somerset region, encompassing the land of the Jinibara, Jagera, Ugarapul, Yuggera and Kabi Kabi peoples, The Condensery is a producer and presenter of contemporary visual arts content. The Condensery is committed to showcasing work by living artists that diversifies the experiences, knowledge and capacity of their community and visitors. Through the presentation of exhibitions, arts education and public programs, The Condensery has become a creative and cultural hub for community and visitors alike.

Owned and operated by Somerset Regional Council, the gallery supports local creatives through employment and exhibitions, and provides access to creative development opportunities for all.


Itinerary

The Condensery | Somerset Regional Art Gallery, QLD
22 July- 1 October 2023

Granville Centre Art Gallery, NSW
29 November 2023 – 18 February 2024

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW
18 March – 23 June 2024

Wangaratta Art Gallery, VIC
29 June- 11 August 2024

Warrnambool Art Gallery, VIC
16 August – 27 October 2024

Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, NSW
28 November 2024 – 18 January 2025

Mudgee Arts Precinct, NSW
31 January – 23 March 2025

Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW
5 April – 8 June 2025

ArtGeo Cultural Complex, Busselton, WA
25 July- 14 September 2025

Albany Town Hall Gallery, WA
26 September – 2 November 2025

Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, WA
15 November 2025 – 15 February 2026

 


Curated by Rachel Arndt & Dr Lee-Anne Hall. A Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, The Condensery and Museums & Galleries of NSW touring exhibition. This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia and the Government of Western Australia through the Department, Culture and the Arts (WA). This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal art investment and advisory body.