An image of Backdrop for Saint Jude

Mikala Dwyer

(Australia 1959 – )

Backdrop for Saint Jude

Not on display
Further information

In these large banner-like paintings – 'Possession', 'Backdrop for Saint Jude', and 'Sigil for heaven and earth' (2015) – Mikala Dwyer conjures the origins of abstract art in the early 20th century, particularly the work of the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) whose spiritualist beliefs and participation in seances led to some of the first purely abstract paintings. Dwyer calls on the diagrammatic nature of Klint’s work in devising her own paintings, referring to a genealogy of innovative women artists who have worked outside rationalist social and cultural norms. Biblical references to Saint Jude and the Virgin Mary also appear in sculptural elements that sit atop the draped canvases, in keeping with Dwyer’s longstanding interest in how the secular meets the mystical in contemporary experience. More obliquely, the works gesture to the transformative power of art.

Painting, Sculpture, Installation
synthetic polymer paint on canvas, ceramic, glass
dimensions variable :
a - banner, 835 x 209.5 cm, irreg.
b - ceramic sculpture, 39 x 17 cm, irreg.
c - glass rod, 149.8 x 1 x 1 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Gift of the artist 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© Mikala Dwyer. Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Licensed by Copyright Agnecy