A day during August 2017, my mentor and tutor for the previous few years, Jenny Watson, rushed up to me excitedly after returning from her own exhibition in Europe. Jenny, a painter who represented Australia at Venice Biennale in 1993, the mentioned a woman she had just met up with again after 20 odd years who had a small gallery space in Vienna. She handed me a couple of her catalogues. One of these was a collection of artists who had exhibited in basement and one was a catalogue of works by Claudia-Maria Luenig who ran the art-space. Claudia had actually once been tutored herself by Jenny years prior in Melbourne, but now the German born artist and curator was living in Austria and had told Jenny all about her gallery and her projects working with international artists. Jenny suggested I get in touch with her and see if there might be exhibition opportunities and mentioned that Claudia also had a textiles-related practice so might be interested in my work. Emma and I had recently completed a couple of projects together, so we messaged her right away and started planning what kind of things we might propose and what kinds of things that we might like to achieve in addition.
Claudia states a mission for the gallery which has operated for 15 years now, “Works of artists are shown that either did not exhibit in Vienna, or like the initiator herself are actively and intensively interested in networking geographically, culturally and conceptually. Communication and co-operation with international artists are the main goal of basement and have thus been the moving force for the development of a global, visual, network”.
Delighted that Jenny had recommended her to us Claudia was enthusiastic about finding us a place in her exhibition program, and after many messages, we were super excited to have secured an exhibition opportunity in Vienna for late 2018. The next task was to build on this opportunity by developing a touring exhibition proposal and seeking funding!