Vivienne Binns has worked primarily as a painter, but has also continually worked across media and contexts. She worked almost exclusively with enamelling for a period from the late 1960s to mid 1970s, and extensively in the area of community arts throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.
Viewed as anticipating the Feminist art movement, Vivienne Binns early career was defined by images of powerful sexual symbolism and activism. During the last thirty years Binns practice has focused on studio-based painting. Her work explores what it means to be an artist in Australia with local and European histories, specifically engaging cultures within the Asia Pacific region. Her abiding interests are the function of art making as a human activity, which occurs in all social groups, and the manifestations of this throughout these communities. This is especially visible in Binns’ use of patterning and surface treatments, which connect historical art movements to domestic or familiar imagery.
Select solo exhibitions: It is what it is what it is, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; New Work, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, 2014; Vivienne Binns – Art and Life, Latrobe University Museum of Art, 2012; Everything New is Old Again, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2008; A Symphony of Uncertainties: In memory of Unknown Artists and Scenes of Popular Reverie, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra, 2007; Vivienne Binns’ Solo Survey, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 2006; Vivienne Binns: Twenty First Century Paintings, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney, 2004.
Select group exhibitions: Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art & Feminism, ACCA, Melbourne, 2018; Painting, More Painting, ACCA, Melbourne, 2016; Pop to Popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2015; Lurid Beauty, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2015; Temperament Spectrum, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Stick it!: Collage in Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2010; Cross Currents: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2007.
In 1983 Binns was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for Services to Art and Craft and in 1985 the Ros Bower Memorial Award for visionary contribution to community arts.
Born 1940 Wyong, NSW. Lives and works, Canberra ACT.
- Artist Studio, Tokyo Japan.
- Artist in Community Training Program, Bowral, NSW.
- Visited Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra
- New York and England, Visual Arts Board Travel Grant
- Television Course, Gore Hill Technical College
- Diploma in Painting and Drawing, National Art School, Sydney
- Selected Works on Paper, 1963, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
- Vivienne Binns: On and Through the Surface, Monash University of Modern Art, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (upcoming)
- Selected Works: 1976-2021, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
- Mothers' Memories, Others' Memories, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
- It is what it is, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
- Minding Clouds, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
- New Work, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
- NOT ALL BY ME, TCB, Melbourne
- Everything new is old again, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
- Recent Paintings and Drawings from the Sixties, Milani Gallery, Brisbane
- Everything old is new again, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Vivienne Binns, touring exhibition: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Drill Hall Gallery, ANU, Canberra, Penrith Regional Gallery, Penrith, NSW & Bathurst Regional Gallery, Bathurst, NSW.
- Translating: In memory of unknown artists, Bellas Milani Gallery, Brisbane.
- Some New, Some Old, Some Collaborations, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Vivienne Binns, Twenty First Century Paintings, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney.
- Painting formulas, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra.
- In Chaos and order, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- New work, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- New work, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra.
- PATTERNING: In memory of unknown artist, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Translations: Remembering unknown artists, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- Heroes, God, my father and me, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Slicing History in the Pacific, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- In Memory of the Unknown Artist and Others, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- Pacific Strands, Australian Girls Own Gallery, Canberra.
- Pacific Parts, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Pacific Parts, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- Surfacing in the Pacific, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Drawings of God, Tower of Babel, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- Miniature Paintings, Bellas Gallery, Brisbane.
- Miniature Paintings, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- Watters Gallery, Sydney
- Enamel Panels, University of Tasmania, Hobart and Raffins Gallery, Orange
- Funky Enamel Ashtrays, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- Watters Gallery, Sydney.
Selected Group Exhibitions
- Living Patterns: Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
- Braving Time: Contemporary Art in Queer Australia, National Art School, Sydney
- In the arms of unconsciousness: Women, feminism and the surreal, Hazelhurst Arts Centre, New South Wales
- Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now: Part One, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
- Painting Amongst Other Things, Australian National Capital Artists Gallery, Canberra
- Celebration: 20 Years of Collecting Visual Art at CMAG, Canberra Museum + Art Gallery, Canberra
- 2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, National Art School, Sydney
- Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art and Feminism, AACA, Melbourne
- Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
- Pop to Popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
- Binns + Valamanesh, Casula Powerhosue, Western Sydney
- NOT ALL BY ME, TBC art inc, Melbourne
- Negotiating this World: Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- Ten Years of Contemporary Australian Art: The James C. Sourris AM Collection, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland
- Stick It! Collage in Australian Art, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- Cross Currents: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
- Superspective, Canberra Contemporary Artspace, Canberra.
- CCAS Manuka Drawing Award, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra.
- Surface Indicators, ANU School of Art, Canberra.
- Shit (Collaborations with Derek O'Connor and Geoff Newton), Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra.
- Hung, Drawn and Quartered: Twenty Five Years, Twenty Five Artists, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney.
- Suburb, Museum of Sydney.
- On the Brink: Abstraction in the 90s, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne.
- Patterning; Layers of Meaning in Contemporary Art, Asialink touring exhibition.
- I had a dream: Australian art of the 1960s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
- Women Hold Up Half the Sky: The Orientation of Art in the Post-War Pacific, Monash University Gallery, Melbourne.
- 1968, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
- Island to Island: Australia to Cheju, Cheju Pre-Biennale, Korea.
- Artist Editions, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne.
- Remain in Light, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney.
- Frames of Reference; Aspects of Feminism and Art, Pier 4/5, Sydney.
- Tower of Babel, Miniature Paintings and group work with 29 contributors, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- 25 Year Aniversary Exhibition, Watters Gallery and Regional Galleries.
- ARX 89, Australian and Regional Artist Exchange, PICA and AGWA, Perth, WA.
- Group Theme Exhibition, Oz Art Gallery, Newcastle, NSW.
- 20 by 20 Crafts in Society 1970 - 1990, NSW Crafts Council travelling exhibition.
- Country-City Connections, artist in community project, North Sydney council.
- Contemporary Art in Australia-A Review, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane.
- Hugh Williamson Prize exhibition, City of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
- Exhibition for Young Travellers, Australian National Gallery, Canberra.
- Full-Flight, artist-in-community in the central western region of NSW. The region covers approximately 60,000 square miles with 40-50 towns.
- Biennale of Sydney, AGNSW, Sydney.
- Vision in Disbelief Acquistions 1973-83, University Art Museum, Qld University.
- Eureka, ICA Gallery, London.
- Australian Perspecta, AGNSW.
- Mothers' Memories, Others' Memories, Final exhibition,Westpoint Shopping Plaza, Blacktown, Penrith Shopping Centre, Windsor Library.
- Mothers' Memories, Others' Memories, Blacktown Artist in Community and Participation Project - Watters Gallery, Sydney, Ewing and George Paton Galleries, University of Melbourne.
- Mothers' Memories, Others' Memories, John Clark Gallery, University of NSW, Artist in Community and Participation Project, Blacktown Municipality, NSW.
- Assisted Frank Watters with Upper Hunter Valley Environmental Project and exhibition, Muswellbrook, NSW.
- Mother's Day, group performance at Watters Gallery.
- A Powerful Lecture, collaborative performance by the Women's Art group, F.A.Dept. University of Sydney.
- Scenes From the Highway of Life,William Angliss Memorial Prize Exhibition, NGV.
- Portraits of Women in Enamel, with Marie McMahon, Watters Gallery, Sydney, Ewing and George Paton Galleries, University of Melbourne, Fantasia Gallery, Canberra.
- The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Quick Brow, performance with Aleks Danko and Mark Underwood, Maquarie University, Sydney.
- Environment HTCT with Tim Burns, University of Sydney.
- The Jo Bonomo Story - A Show of Strength, a group happening, Watters Gallery.
- See That My Grave's Kept Green, evening of songs, Watters Gallery, Sydney.
- The Artsmobile Project, Grafton and Woollongong, NSW.
- Woom, environmental lightshow with Roger Foley (Ellis D Fogg), Watters Gallery.
Awards and Prizes
- Australia Council Award for Visual Arts
- Australian Artists Creative Fellowship.
- Ros Bower Memorial Award for Visionary Contribution to Community Art.
- Order of Australia Medal for Service to Art and Craft.
- Barron, Sonia The Canberra Times (Panorama), December 20, 1997.
- Berriman, Ann 'Vivienne Binns', Craft Australia, no.3,1980.
- Best, Sue 'Vivienne Binns and Friends, Tower of Babel', Eyeline, no.13, 1990.
- Binns, Vivienne,(ed.) 'Community in the Arts', History, Theory, Practice Australian Perspective, Pluto, Sydney.
- Binns, Vivienne articles and artists' statements in issues of Lip, Melbourne, 1976, 1977,1 980.
- Binns, Vivienne 'Mothers' Memories, Others' Memories', Tharunka, University of NSW Student Union, May 28, 1979, pp.11-13.
- Binns, Vivienne 'A Brief History of an Art Practice in Community Contexts' and Barbara Hanna,'Community Art a Feminist Challenge', Artlink, vol.10, no.3, Spring 1990.
- Bromfield, David “Artspeak spoken here”, The West Australian (Big Weekend), January 10, 1988.
- Burke, Janine Field of Vision: A Decade of Change, Womens Art in the Seventies, Viking, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1990.
- Burke, Janine Artist Statement in Six Women Artists, Meanjin, vol 38, no.3, Melbourne 1979.
- Clark, Deborah 'Vivienne Binns Surfacing in the Pacific', Eyeline, no.22/23, 1993.
- 'Collaboration, Artists Working Collectively', Art & Text, vol.1, Melbourne 1981.
- Drury, Neville (ed) New Art Two: New Directions in Australian Art, Craftsman House, 1988.
- Ewington, Julie 'Enduring Patterns: The Art of Vivienne Binns', Australian Art Monthly, no.51, 1992.
- Garlick, Beverley 'Interview with Vivienne Binns', Refractory Girl, no.8, March 1975.
- Green, Charles Peripheral Vision, Contemporary Australian Art 1970-1994, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1995.
- Hanna, Barbara 'Vivienne Binns', Honit Soit, 30 April, 1985.
- Hull, A., and Binns, V. Community Art Directory, Australia Council, Nth Sydney, 1985.
- Kerr, Joan 'The Art of Vivienne Binns', Art and Australia, vol.30, no.3, 1993.
- Kirby, Sandy Sight Lines: Womens Art and Feminist Perspectives in Australia, Craftsman House, Australia, 1992.
- Lippard, Lucy 'Out of Control: Australian Art on the Left', Village Voice (New York), 19-10-82.
- Mendelsosohn, J., The Australian, August 23, 1996.
- Paroissien, Leon (ed) Australian Art Review, William Warner, 1982.
- Sullivan, Graeme Seeing Australia, Views of Artists and Art Writers, Piper Press, Sydney, 1994.
- Taylor, Paul Anything Goes. Art in Australia 1970-1980, Melbourne, 1984.
- 'Vision in Disbelief', Biennale of Sydney, ex.cat., 1982, AGNSW.
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
- Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney.
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
- Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.
- Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.
- Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.
- Tate Modern, London.
- University Art Gallery, Queensland University, Brisbane.
- Wesfarmers, Perth.
- Vivienne Binns, Christian Capurro, D Harding, Gemma Smith, Jemima WymanContemporary Australian Abstraction Exhibition
- Vivienne BinnsReview in The Sydney Morning Herald
- Bonita Ely, D Harding, Gordon Bennett, Jon Cattapan, Judy Watson, Peter Kennedy, Richard Bell, Robert Hunter, Ross Manning, Rosslynd Piggott, Vernon Ah Kee, Vivienne BinnsExhibition at QAGOMA