Jutta Feddersen: Substance of Shadows - Art Collector

6 October 2010 | Sculpture and fibre artist Jutta Feddersen has published her autobiography, Substance of Shadows.

Born in Germany in 1939, the early years of Feddersen’s life were happy ones. In the first part of the book, she describes an idyllic childhood, led in tune with the seasons. She then moves on to describe surviving World War II and her migration to Australia as a young woman.

In the foreword, art critic John McDonald writes: “Jutta feels that she never belongs anywhere. Having been uprooted from her past, she has lived as a permanently displaced person. This is not, however, such a terrible fate for an artist. Much of the greatest art of the past century has been made by people who have been culturally displaced.”

Feddersen is open about the role her experience of war and displacement play in her work, and in the second part of the book she explores in greater depth how she approaches the loss of “a beautiful life” in her work.

Feddersen, now retired from her post in the University of Newcastle’s fine art department, where she worked for some 18 years, will launch the autobiography at an exhibition at Sydney’s Mary Place Gallery. The exhibition opens 12 October 2010 and includes both recent work and earlier pieces that she still owns.

Jane O'Sullivan

Substance of Shadows (hardback, 260 pages) is published by Murdoch Books.

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