Passionate about art education
As viewers, visiting a Cherry Hood exhibition is a voyeuristic experience. The huge eyed faces follow you around the exhibition space, drinking you in and forcing you to maintain eye contact. You feel as though you have intruded on quiet thoughts, perhaps on a dark moment recalled. There are no smiles, and the eyes have a bruised outlook, too knowledgeable for their brief years.
Her thesis investigated gender politics in art and cultural mores and taboos surrounding the representation of the male body. After high school Hood attended art school at St George Tech for two years without finishing her diploma, she then went to Italy for six months to study Sculpture and Italian language. Hood was inspired by her teacher at St George, the famous sculptor Bert Flugelman.
Hood returned to art education as a mature age student in 1991 and spent 3 years studying painting at the National Art School, she continued her study at Sydney College of the Arts (University of Sydney) and attained her Undergraduate and Honours Degrees before attaining her Masters of Visual Art.
Hood continues to be passionate about art education often describing her experience at Art School as a “gift”. She tries to give back a little by teaching and conducts workshops and gallery talks.
During her 20-year painting career Hood has had countless solo exhibitions and is often included in group and theme exhibitions at museums and institutions. Hood has exhibited in the galleries which represent her: Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney, Heiser Gallery in Brisbane, Turner Gallery in Perth and Greenaway Gallery in Adelaide.
Hood has also had solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and Zurich. Her works are in many private collections in Australia and overseas and many of the State Museum Galleries in Australia have collected her works. Her works are very well represented in major corporate collections.
Hood works in the unlikely medium of watercolour, her paintings are most frequently anonymous composite portraits. Since her move to the Southern Tablelands of NSW Hood has embraced the landscape and sometimes incorporates it into her works.
Hood was the winner of the 2002 Archibald Prize, the most prestigious painting award in Australia, with her portrait of the young pianist Simon Tedeschi. Hood was one of seven women winners in the long history of the award. Hood had been a finalist the year before with her very first entry in Archibald Prize. The work -a watercolour on paper -of her brother in law the artist Matthÿs Gerber was remarkably the first watercolour on paper to be hung in the Archibald. Later Hood painted David Helfgott, Ben Quilty and in 2010 Michael Zavros which were also hung as finalist works.
Click below to see a gallery of some of Cherry’s work.