Lillian Morrissey (*1986 in Sydney) is a Berlin-based textile artist with a background in political science, journalism and community activism. She holds a BA of International Politics from USYD (2009) and a BA of Fine Arts (Painting) from NAS Sydney (2015). Trained in painting, she turned to the historically feminine craft of embroidered tapestries to sew narrative scenes that often satirically reflect on history and contemporary politics.
Her large textile works draw from and subvert the patriarchal tradition of conquest-narrative mediaeval tapestries such as the Bayeux and Pastrana Tapestries, martial paintings and monuments in classical and imperial western art history.The works combine dye-painting with hand and (hand operated) pistol embroidered yarn and cotton. This time intensive and personal creative process grounds the works in the mythical and historical framework of weaving as a women's record of history.
With works from the current Heroes series, this traditional ‘woman’s’ art form is used to depict scenes of timeless masculine violence in gridded, geometric compositions and decorative elements that allude to patterns from flags, traditional textile ornamentation and coats of arms.
Warriors, soldiers, weapons, monuments, popular narratives of conquest and war: these props are all on stage for the theatre of the ultra-nationalist hyper masculine ideology, identified by feminist political scientist Cynthia Enloe as the phenomenon of ‘militarised masculinity.’ Lillian’s works visually interrogate militarised masculine culture and it's aesthetics, examining the co-dependent relationship between authoritarianism, neo-fascist ideology and politicised masculinity. Her work satirises warrior-hero archetypes, exposing and poking fun at the insecure strongman historical narratives adopted by authoritarian leaders like Putin and militarised alt-right groups such as the Proud Boys.
2012-2015 BA of Fine Arts (Major in Painting), National Art School, Sydney
2005-2009 BA of International Politics (Major in Political Economy), University of Sydney
Current Projects and Exhibitions
2023 29 Sep - 29 Nov, "On the Edge Of" Group Show from the Goldrausch Künstlerinnen Projekt, Galerie Weisse Elefant, Berlin
2023 11 Nov- 16 Dec "Clams and Daggers" Duo Show with Katja Tönnissen, Galerie Russi Klenner, Berlin
2023 Speculative Properties(Group Show) 14-16 June, Adalbertstrasse 9, Berlin
2022 JTD 10 Year Anniversary (Group Show), Swamp Gallery Sydney
2020 Open Studio, (Group Show), Adalbertstrasse 9, Berlin
2019 Solo Show, Hue Gallery, Kreuzberg, Berlin
2019 Psychogeographic (Group Show), Fine Art Complex, Arizona, USA
2019 AlptraumLa Estacion Gallery (Group Show), Chihuaha, Mexico
2018 Stillborn (Group Show), Flutgraben, Berlin
2018 Deep Maps (Group Show), Dadapost, Berlin
2017 Everywhere/Nowhere SOMA Gallery(Group Show), Melbourne
2017 QLD Contemporary Art Award, (Group Show) Online Finalist Exhibition
2017 40 x 40 Prize (Group Show), Brunswick St Gallery, Melbourne
2016 Contrary(Group Show), Swamp Gallery, Sydney
2016 The Experimental Line, (Group Show), The Nest ARI Gallery, Sydney
2015 NAS Graduate Show, (Group Show) NAS Gallery, Sydney
2015 SPANK, (Group Show) Factory 49, Sydney
Grants, Prizes and Residencies
2023 Goldrausch Künstlerinnen Program, Berlin
2021 Residency, Greywood Arts, County Cork, Ireland
2019 Residency, Real Art Estate, Fehrbellin, Brandenburg, Germany
2017 Second Prize, Queensland Contemporary Art Award, Australia
2017 Finalist, 40 x 40 Art Prize, Brunswick St Gallery
2016 Residency, Big Ci, Bilpin, NSW
2015 Residency, Bundeena Bannisters, NSW
2014 Marrickville Artist Grant, Recipient